For the upcoming Family Guy special, you won’t see any commercials. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be bombarded with advertisements. It just means that the advertisements will be woven into the show itself. This is not a new concept, in fact this is a retrograde step to the early days of television, when Lucy and Ricky would break the fourth wall to tell their viewers about Ovaltine or Lucky Strike cigarrettes. However, given Family Guy’s brand of irreverent humor, I’m afraid that this is not going to work. As you can see from this preview, it’s just not funny.
Microsoft seems to have forgotten a fairly basic rule of advertising: Tailor the message to your viewers. Of course, I may be wrong and the special may make comedy history, but if it doesn’t, then it will serve as a reminder to all businesses. Make sure your advertisements reach your target market.