The Microsoft Network as a whimsical butterfly, must rank as one of the most incongruous marketing campaigns to play itself out on TV. First launched in 2000 as a silent mascot of Microsoft Network, the lepidopteran was brought back in 2004 as a lingual character in a series of ads that were supposed to be endearing and humorous. But all it did was leave a lot of adults scratching their heads and wondering what the point of this droll mascot was all about. If the subliminal message was that the Microsoft was as unimaginative about its ads as it was with its buggy software, then it succeeded immensely.
Public relations may be the heart of capitalism, but it needs something to work with in the first place. Ol’ Bill Gates trying to endear himself to the masses through the ministrations of a dissembling mascot, ironically evokes the words of an old Beatles song; the one that talks about money and love, ……… the love that it cannot buy, to be exact.
The brainchild of McCann Erickson Worldwide Advertising which created the initial butterfly theme for the launch of MSN 8, the silly bug mascot should have been nixed by the marketing genii at Microsoft, but it wasn’t. So the adipose butterfly laid another egg before having its colorful wings forcefully ripped from its body. Sorry for the “pi’ture but that’s wha’ happened.”