Is Microsoft

The old adage there’s no such thing as bad publicitycomes to mind with the controversy around aMicrosoft video ad for its new Internet Explorer 8 Webbrowser that has left some viewers queasy.

The ad is designed to promote the InPrivate browsing feature of IE8,and features a typical suburban couple eating breakfast, while thehusband browses the Web on his laptop. As he gets up she pops on thelaptop herself, and after a quick peak at his browsing history, shequickly, well, you can watch the video for yourself.

Whichis, of course, the point. While Microsoft has pulled the video fromits YouTube channel and its site,it’s still available elsewhere and is already closing in on100,000 views.

Commenters say they’re disgusted, with some saying the video must befake, and Microsoft has officially backed away from the ad, releasingthis statement:

“We make a point of listening to our customers,” according toMicrosoft. “We created the (Oh My God I’m Gonna Puke) video as atongue-in-cheek look at the InPrivate Browsing feature of InternetExplorer 8, using the same irreverent humor that our customers told usthey liked about other components of the Internet Explorer 8 marketingcampaign. While much of the feedback to this particular piece ofcreative was positive, some of our customers found it offensive, so wehave removed it.”

The ad is so over the top gross-out that it’s hard to imagineMicrosoft didn’t expect a strong reaction. And its really not that outof line with the genre of movies popular with the younger demographicthese days. So while Microsoft will officially remove the ad, you haveto think they’re getting exactly the attention they’d hoped for. Andbecause of the controversy, more people will learn about IE8 than wouldhave otherwise.

Willpeople get over their queasiness though and give IE8 a shot?I’m a Firefox devotee, but I may just need to give it atry.

The real controversy here, though, is whathas happened to Dean Cain’s career. Because you knowhe’s not getting the Jerry Seinfeld money fromRedmond.


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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