11.05.08

Microsoft Blast from the Past: Ads Banned for Spurring Violence

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft at 9:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How might Microsoft promote XBox360? Violence, why not?

This went just a little too far.

Viral marketing leads to mock gunfight at Richmond school

Several Ottawa high school students have been suspended for re-enacting an Xbox commercial that involves a mock gun fight — the latest in a series of attempts around the world to mimic the segment that, according to media analysts, amounts to free “viral advertising” for Microsoft Corp.

The latest incident took place on Tuesday in the cafeteria at South Carleton High School when a crowd of students shot finger guns at one another and feigned death by either falling or slumping to the ground.

The advertisement was at least banned in the UK.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, an industry self-policing group, has ruled that an ad for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is out of bounds and can’t be aired there again.

This is far from the only Microsoft advert that got banned for violent or sexual content.

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4 Comments

  1. Shane Coyle said,

    November 5, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Gravatar

    Wasn’t there an MS print ad back when, in Australia perhaps, where they were pushing a student version of MS Office as a ‘cheaper’ alternative than having to sleep with a geek to get your papers written?

    I actually liked that one.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 5, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Gravatar

    In Australia they did a stunt to crash PS3 launch parties, with beer offered to show the differences in price. But there are worse examples:

    Former Miss Austrlia to sex up IT industry
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4157506a28.html

    So THIS is why people want Windows!
    http://wolfgang.lonien.de/?p=388

    Jack Thompson Lays His Legal Sights on Halo 3
    http://www.gamealmighty.com/story-individual/story/Jack_Thompson_Lays_His_Legal_Sites_on_Halo_3/

    Halo 3 Korea Promotion Part 2 ~ ver1~
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldn5m-vMLwA&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.joystiq.com%2F

    WhatsWrongWithU
    http://www.armchairempire.com/News/?p=187

    Those Microsoft Vista ads are really bizarre
    http://www.adjab.com/2007/01/15/those-microsoft-vista-ads-are-really-bizarre/

    Microsoft patents Tivo for commercial breaks
    http://www.itwire.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7946&Itemid=1063

    British Government Fires Back at EA & Microsoft
    http://www.thegamereviews.com/story-1449-British-Government-Fires-Back-at-EA–Microsoft.html

    Microsoft XBox Banned Commercials
    http://www.mall.hk/news/2007/08/21/what-you-missed-xbox-iptv-and-bill-gatess-criminal-past-2/

  3. Ceno said,

    November 5, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Gravatar

    I mean, c’mon. the ad is ok, I liked it

  4. mike said,

    November 5, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Gravatar

    Well the advert was a bit bizarre – the whole ‘isn’t it fun to pretend-to-kill-absolutely-everyone-off-the-street’ is a little disturbing. I guess if nothing else it cements the xbox as a niche product.

    But suspending kids for playing what is essentially just cops and robbers/cowboys and indians?

    What the fuck is this world coming to?

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