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Microsoft Vandalizes NYC 752

Posted by michael
from the money-talks dept.
Brooklyn Bob writes "The New York Times (free registration etc.) is reporting that New York Tells Microsoft to Get Its Butterfly Decals Out of Town. Sure, it's "corporate graffiti", but the butterfly looks pretty good on the subway entrance." The story only covers a small part of their efforts to promote MSN, the "Microsoft operating system required" internet service. The first submission we got about the campaign described another part of it: Latent IT writes "I wish I had a link to submit with this, but strange things are afoot in New York City. At 61st and Broadway, 30-40 guys and gals in butterfly suits colored in the Microsoft colors, and carrying MSN banners just rollerbladed by, screaming at the top of their lungs down the middle of Broadway. Interestingly enough, this took them right near the under construction AOL Time Warner building. It seemed worth jotting down, but they were literally gone and down the street before I could reach my digital camera. (Place all bug on windshield jokes here.)"
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Microsoft Vandalizes NYC

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  • by wiredog (43288) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:34AM (#4529038) Journal
    from the IBM Linux grafitti fiasco in San Francisco.
    • Learned what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dnoyeb (547705) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:36AM (#4529064) Homepage Journal
      Learned what? How expensive is advertising? How expensive do you expect the fine to be? Do the math.

      Now some Jail time would be welcome :D
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:42AM (#4529114)
      What bugs me is the two stories about the Linux Grafitti was all about a good advertising scheme, and this is about 'vandalization'. Petty narrowmindedness is annoying.
      • by Jucius Maximus (229128) <zyrbmf5j4x&snkmail,com> on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:07AM (#4529378) Homepage Journal
        "What bugs me is the two stories about the Linux Grafitti was all about a good advertising scheme, and this is about 'vandalization'. Petty narrowmindedness is annoying."

        The microsoft signs are made with appliqués that are just stuck to walls by static electricity. The ones on sidewalks are can be peeled off. This creates undue waste and probably could create hazards for people who try to nagivate over the sidewalk appliqués in wheelchairs. I expect the people in butterfly suits create an annoyance for all.

        The linux campaign was done with biodegradable chalk. Big difference. No harmful waste. Less hazard for transportation, although some say that chalk makes rodes more slippery. And as far as I know, they didn't have people in Tux suits swarming around and creating more distractions.

        Both of them create visual distractions and probably shouldn't have been attempted in the first place without authorisation from the city. But the IBM campaign was definitely better thought out than this microsoft one.

        • by Chromonkey (466956) on Friday October 25, 2002 @11:35AM (#4530039)
          Um, no. The IBM/Linux pieces were neither 'spraychalked' nor 'bio-degradeable'. Over a YEAR later, they are still visibile. This is after thousands of people walking over them, rains, sidewalk washings and even IBM paying a private company to try to remove them. They were eventually fined by the City but it doesn't make them go away.

          These stickers and such are nothing compared to the IBM/Linux spray ads.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:43AM (#4529126)
      New York Tells Microsoft to Get Its Butterfly Decals Out of Town
      By DAVID W. DUNLAP

      Two days after city inspectors ripped up illegal Nike advertising decals glued to sidewalks along Central Park West, Microsoft unleashed a swarm of large adhesive butterflies in Manhattan.

      They settled yesterday morning on sidewalks and doorways; traffic signals, stop signs and planters. They alighted on the bluestone paving around Grand Army Plaza and the granite corners around Grand Central Terminal.

      Their blue, green, orange and yellow wings had spans of 12 to 20 inches, the larger ones accompanied by a caption -- "It's better with the Butterfly" -- advertising Microsoft's new MSN 8 Internet service.

      "This is nothing more than corporate graffiti," said Vanessa Gruen, director of special projects for the Municipal Art Society, a civic organization that has long battled commercialization of public space. "It's no better than all those kids out there tagging subway cars."

      And no more legal, city officials said.

      "We intend to hold your firm directly responsible for this illegal, irresponsible and dangerous defacing of public property," wrote Cesar A. Fernandez, assistant counsel of the Transportation Department, in a letter sent yesterday to the Microsoft Corporation.

      His letter instructed Microsoft to remove the decals from city property immediately and warned that further placement might lead to "legal proceedings which may include, but not be limited to, a request for injunctive relief and additional monetary damages; and criminal prosecution."

      "I trust and hope that these offensive activities are not the authorized acts of your organization's employees and agents," Mr. Fernandez wrote, requesting a reply from Microsoft with assurances that its promotional staff and agents would be directed "to avoid such illegal conduct."

      A single summons was issued, with a $50 penalty, though each butterfly could have been subject to a $50 fine, said Tom Cocola, the assistant commissioner for public affairs at the transportation agency. He said the city's chief goal was seeing to it that the decals are removed.

      Microsoft, for its part, insisted that it was authorized to place the decals.

      "There are permits for everything," said Colleen Lacter of Waggener Edstrom, a public relations firm representing Microsoft, emerging from a tent at Wollman Rink in Central Park after an MSN 8 promotional event.

      "This is not a repeat of Nike," she added. But she would not tell a reporter what agency had issued the permits. After a brief huddle with two people whom she identified as being from McCann-Erickson, the advertising firm handling the account, Ms. Lacter said: "There's nothing else to say. They didn't want to get into a discussion about the details."

      The law, Section 19-138 of the New York City administrative code, states: "It shall be unlawful for any person to deface any street by painting, printing or writing thereon, or attaching thereto, in any manner, any advertisement or other printed matter."

      The butterflies found on vertical surfaces were made of flimsy plastic, held in place by static electricity and easily removable. The sidewalk decals were a heavier plastic, with a roughly textured surface. Though they were stuck to the pavement, they too could be lifted off fairly easily.

      And that is what the Grand Central Partnership set out to do yesterday afternoon as it confronted butterfly decals on some of the special pink granite sidewalks it has installed at 172 intersections from Fifth to Second Avenues, 38th to 48th Streets. These include curb cuts for the disabled.

      "Anything that impairs the ability of someone to move on those accessible corners is a concern," said Marc A. Wurzel, general counsel to the partnership, which runs the business improvement district. "It's a unique form of guerrilla advertising."

      In a state of some astonishment, Ms. Gruen took in the scene outside the Municipal Art Society office at the Villard Houses, Madison Avenue and 51st Street. There were butterflies on building facades, a telephone booth and a Grand Central Partnership newspaper vending machine.

      "It's illegal," she said, "and they're going to get a lot of publicity for it."

      That may have been the point. "It's a tremendous opportunity," Ms. Lacter said, "for us to build brand awareness."
    • by Oculus Habent (562837) <oculus...habent@@@gmail...com> on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:54AM (#4529243) Journal
      They apparently did learn.

      IBM's campaign was all spraypaint on sidewalks.

      Microsoft was at least smart enough to use easily removable static stickers and such.

      That way they won't be responsible for thousands of dollars worth of cleanup.
  • Vandalizes? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yohaas (228469) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:34AM (#4529040)
    That might be little strong. They didn't do any damage. Get over it.
    • Re:Vandalizes? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by taphu (549739)
      It is considered vandalization for a kid to spray paint his name onto the subway wall, even though this doesn't damage the wall. So yes, "vandalizes" is the correct term for microsoft attaching little butterflies all over publicly owned property.
    • Re:Vandalizes? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by toupsie (88295)
      That might be little strong. They didn't do any damage. Get over it.

      Wrong! I work near Madison Ave. Yesterday morning and this morning I watched building supers scraping off the stupid butterflies off their buildings. The stickers are on the sidewalks as well and they have that slick coating. I am just waiting for an old lady to face plant right into traffic. You are not going to get a city employee to scrape them up -- they have better unions than the building supers.

      This is just as annoying as IBM's stupid "Peace, Love and Linux" campaign of last year where the stickered everything and spray painted their logo at every street corner.

    • Re:Vandalizes? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SubtleNuance (184325)
      How about Mass Littering?

      equally offensive.
  • by sczimme (603413) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:35AM (#4529050)
    30-40 guys and gals in butterfly suits colored in the Microsoft colors, and carrying MSN banners just rollerbladed by, screaming at the top of their lungs down the middle of Broadway.

    Give it up for us! Whoooooo hooooo!
  • by anonymous loser (58627) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:36AM (#4529061)
    I've always wondered if this kind of advertising actually works. You'd have to think that at least half of the people that see this are going to be thinking WTF?!?!?


    The other half are probably contemplating some way to steal those outfits for Halloween.

    • by FortKnox (169099) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:44AM (#4529135) Homepage Journal
      I've always wondered if this kind of advertising actually works. You'd have to think that at least half of the people that see this are going to be thinking WTF?!?!?

      You answered your own question.
      Imagine how many people are discussing it at work in NYC.
      Ever do that for a commerical? Maybe for a superbowl commerical, but thats it. This is wonderful advertising, because it sticks in everyone's mind. Its all about exposure.
      • by Quarters (18322) on Friday October 25, 2002 @11:14AM (#4529876)
        Microsoft is actually pretty adept at finding new and interesting ways to advertise things. I remember when E3 was held in Atlanta for the first time (late '90s). Microsoft was pushing their (then new) Zone gaming service. They went to every hotel in the city and offered to give them the supply of key-cards needed during the E3 show. Every card had an advertisement for The Zone on it. I heard that the total cost to Microsoft was somewhere around $5000.00. Everyone at the show was talking about it. Now you can't do a key-card blitz at a show for 1/10th that price, I bet. Now it's seen as prime advertising space. Back then, though, it was just seen as a way for the hotels to save a little money.

        When E3 moved back to LA 3 years later MS did it again. Instead of buying over-priced banner space in the lobbys of the convention center or billboards outside the purchased the fronts of all of the stairs in the convention center. Not the treads, the fronts. Each stair front had a strip vinyl aplique on it. Up close it just looked like...well, nothing. But, when you stood back and looked at the entire stairway (as you would when you're walking up to it), a gigantic advertisement would be visible. Again, MS got it on the cheap. Now I'm sure every convention center in the country charges a nice premium for those spaces.

    • by bogie (31020) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:45AM (#4529146) Journal
      " I've always wondered if this kind of advertising actually works"

      Look at all of the free press they are getting. Slashdot just put it on there front page insuring that even the most staunch MS hater now knows MSN 8 is out. NY Times it carrying it ensuring the "average Joe" now knows about it. Finally all of the sites which feed off Slash have it on their front pages. So basically if your on the internet today you there is a good chance you NOW know MSN 8 just launched. Hurray more money and free advertising for MS!

      BTW MSN 8 just launched.
    • by twoslice (457793) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:51AM (#4529213)
      Actually, people have stopped thinking "WTF?!?!?" in New York a long time ago. There is so much wierd shit going down in NYC each and every day this is probably considered slightly above normal....
  • MSJackass? (Score:4, Funny)

    by cpfeifer (20941) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:37AM (#4529066) Homepage
    Perhaps this is just a stunt for MS' new product, MSJackass for their new cable channel MSMTV?
  • I'm Sold! (Score:3, Funny)

    by BoBaBrain (215786) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:37AM (#4529067)
    30-40 guys and gals in butterfly suits colored in the Microsoft colors, and carrying MSN banners just rollerbladed by, screaming at the top of their lungs

    What a fantastically compelling ad campaign! I'll take two of whatever it is they are selling.
  • Beat y'all to it. :) (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Triv (181010) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:37AM (#4529069) Journal
    Check out my journal [slashdot.org] on the subject from last week. I was going to submit it, but for the life of me couldn't figure out where it'd go, assumed it would be rejected and blogged it instead. :)

    Triv
  • by wilburdg (178573) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:37AM (#4529072)
    Terrible mental image of Steve Balmer wearing a sweat soaked butterfly suit and roller blades, yelling "Developers! Developers!"....

    *cringe*
  • MSN 8? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by moeman (11668) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:38AM (#4529078) Homepage
    Anyone notice the comercials that just started playing for the NEW version of MSN, simply called "MSN 8"? Hmmm, now I admit I have no idea what version they were on before, but it seems a little suspiciouse that MSN 8 is being released on the heals of the new AOL version 8.0. My only real question is, why didn't MS go ahead and call it "MSN 9" just to get one step ahead?

    • Re:MSN 8? (Score:5, Funny)

      by MyHair (589485) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:07AM (#4529374) Journal
      Well MSN and AOL are on 8, Mac has gone to OS X, MS Office is on version 10. Nobody's higher than 10. See, what I've done is created a version 11. That's right, no one else has 11. This is one better than anything anyone else can hope for.
    • Re:MSN 8? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Masem (1171) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:14AM (#4529431)
      I once heard (this roughtly around 1995) that when one compares the development cost vs profit as a function of version number, the curve typically breaks even on the 7th revision of a program (was this from Mythical Man-Month?).

      Mind you, after the browser wars, which completely broke how version numbering should effectively be done, this is probably no longer true. Version numbering has lost out to commercialization; there's a lot of good examples of where software changes over a 'major' version number could really be classified as 'minor' version changes, at least to some people (photoshop, IE, to name a few), but marketing knows that customers are more likely to purchase an upgrade if its from "x.0" to "x+1.0", as oppsed to "x.0" to "x.1". Additionally, there's been a few hokey version jumps in some programs as to keep them on par with a competitors program (as the parent post alludes to) - just as AMD is trying to keep up with the Megahertz Myth with Intel in naming their new chips.

  • by NetRanger (5584) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:38AM (#4529081) Homepage
    ...to put their army of mascots out there, and then it's Godzilla Versus Mothra all over again.
  • by theRhinoceros (201323) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:39AM (#4529085)
    This sort of thing makes for great corporate performance art, but honestly... does it make the average person want to choose them as their ISP? If not, then they might as well make origami out of their money and set it on fire.
    • The average person does not know what ISP stands for. The average person thinks that "AOL" equals "Internet." This is not meant as a slight on the the "average person," most of whom have much more important things to focus upon in their varied, non-tech-obsessed lives.

      MS, fast on the heels of just about every major reviewer decalring MSN 8 superior to AOL 8, has just sent the average person a a message that there is another Internet besides AOL. I've never used either AOL or MSN, and have no love for either parent organization, but I see this as a brilliant publicity stunt by MS, no question.

      The "average person on SlashDot," who has got his toaster oven connected to a Cisco router and is using it to hack into the SETI distribution, is neither the intended customer for the service nor the intended audience for the stunt.
  • by Apostata (390629) <apostata.hotmail@com> on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:39AM (#4529086) Homepage Journal
    Am I the only one secretly wishing all of those butterfly-clad idiots were magically transported to some impoverished shanty-town (like in Bangladesh or Brazil) so they could convince all of the people who are drinking raw sewage in their water how wonderful the benefits of MSN 8 will be?
  • by nutshell42 (557890) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:39AM (#4529088) Journal
    Is there any cheaper method to get screen time and articles in newspapers than getting sued over nonsensical issues?
    • Is there any cheaper method to get screen time and articles in newspapers than getting sued over nonsensical issues?

      Or monopolistic practices? Or railed on by the U.S. Department of Justice, or a group of U.S. States? When you have some of the deepest pockets around, I guess you don't really care. It would be the same as someone suing me for pocket lint.

  • No Registration Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@nOsPAm.keirstead.org> on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:41AM (#4529101) Homepage

    Why these people dont post the no registration required links [nytimes.com] provided by Google news [google.com] I don't know

  • by upstateguy (90019) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:41AM (#4529104)
    From the article, the PR firm's lackey said they had a permit, but..


    After a brief huddle with two people whom she identified as being from McCann-Erickson, the advertising firm handling the account, Ms. Lacter said: "There's nothing else to say. They didn't want to get into a discussion about the details."



    So it might not be MS's directive, but the PR/Ad agency screwing it up. Though *that's* a bit difficult to swallow that they didn't know you could get away with that. Probably more of a 'hey this will get *great* pr, be on the news for shaking up NYC, and we'll pay some crappy little fine at best (or offer MS XP to schools at a discount and thereby intrenching themselves more :-).

  • by inteller (599544) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:41AM (#4529107)
    Is why these butterfly outfits are so "frumpy". If they really want to sell they need something that competes with the iMac girl. I want my (female) human butterfly wearing nothing but wings and a smile.
  • by aquarian (134728) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:41AM (#4529108)
    Is there a single, original idea at Microsoft? Can't they come up with *anything* themselves? You know you suck when you're looking to IBM for "hip" inspiration...
  • by pubjames (468013) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:42AM (#4529117)
    30-40 guys and gals in butterfly suits colored in the Microsoft colors, and carrying MSN banners just rollerbladed by, screaming at the top of their lungs down the middle of Broadway.

    I would love to see an equivalent number of guys in penguin suits go beat them up. I'd pay good money to see that.
  • by Zeddicus_Z (214454) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:43AM (#4529127) Homepage
    You really think Microsoft would have learned after doing this before and having it backfire on them.

    When the Xbox launched here in Australia, Microsoft spent obscene amounts of money on the advertising campaign (it actually began a few months prior to launch). Part of this was to spraypaint the green Xbox X on the sidewalk at pretty much every bus stop in central Sydney. Needless to say, the relevent local councils were not amused.

    As far as I know, the responsible parties were ordered by the court to pay for council workers to clean every single spray. However, Microsoft is nothing if not careful, and instead of doing the original grafitti themselves, they'd contracted it to a local, well-known (in the industry) PR company.

    Last we heard, poor [company name omitted] were stuck not only with the bill for councils to clean up the Microsoft grafitti, but also the responsability to clean it off themselves (the more they got to, the less council had to do and thus the less they paid).
  • by BoBaBrain (215786) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:44AM (#4529141)
    Q: How did you hear about our products?

    A:
    [] Recomended by a friend
    [] Saw ad in magazine
    [] Screaming butterflies spoke of them
  • Double-standards? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EchoMirage (29419) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:45AM (#4529153)
    This is not a troll, but an observation: When it's IBM spray-painting Linux graffiti messages, it's free speech, but when it's Microsoft painting butterflies, it's vandalism?
  • by mini me (132455) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:46AM (#4529162)
    "It's illegal," she said, "and they're going to get a lot of publicity for it."

    I think that was the whole point of all of this.
  • by httpamphibio.us (579491) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:51AM (#4529218)
    I've read on a couple sites that during the video Gates showed at the MSN8 release he was in a butterfly costume doing something... anyone have a link to this?
  • by seven89 (303868) <rc@ m 3 p e e ps.org> on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:53AM (#4529234) Homepage
    A butterfly flapping its wings in Manhattan can cause a hurricane in Redmond, Washington.
  • Pardon? (Score:5, Funny)

    by sehryan (412731) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:53AM (#4529236)
    MSN, the "Microsoft operating system required" internet service

    As opposed to AOL, the "Microsoft operating system required" internet service.
  • by nicedream (4923) <brianNO@SPAMnopants.org> on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:54AM (#4529245) Homepage
    From the article:

    The butterflies found on vertical surfaces were made of flimsy plastic, held in place by static electricity and easily removable. The sidewalk decals were a heavier plastic, with a roughly textured surface. Though they were stuck to the pavement, they too could be lifted off fairly easily.

    Since the article specifically says the butterflies can be easily removed, I don't know if I'd call this vandalism. It's certainly less damaging than what IBM did in San Fran. Typical /. anti-MS sensationalism.

    Of course, it is dispicable for a company (MS, IBM, whoever) to just take over public property for the purpose of their advertising campaigns. There are proper ways of advertising, and this isn't one of them.
    • Yes, it was vandalism.

      They may be "easily removeable" in the sense that it doesn't require crowbars or solvents to remove, but that doesn't mean that it still doesn't require labor -- workers that the city must pay for to remove these buterflies.

      The article states that the stickers obstructed travel for those in wheelchairs or similarly physically disabled. They had to be removed to ensure the safety of those people. Thus, in a sense, the stickers obviously were a threat to public safety, although that threat was limited in its scope and damage. Possibly the worst thing that would have happened is someone would slip and break a hip, but hey -- wouldn't that be great advertising for Microsoft, too? They could offer the poor invalid a laptop with a complimentary 3 month subscription to MSN 8.

      Also, let's compare Microsoft to, say, some activist who puts up a bunch of leaflets protesting the war in Iraq.

      Do you honestly think the activist would receive a letter saying, "We hope this was just a misunderstanding"? Would the activist pretend that they had received authorization to put up the signs?

      From the article:
      A single summons was issued, with a $50 penalty, though each butterfly could have been subject to a $50 fine, said Tom Cocola, the assistant commissioner for public affairs at the transportation agency. He said the city's chief goal was seeing to it that the decals are removed.
      I say, make them pay for each one. They can certainly afford to.

      What infuriates me about Corporate "guerilla" advertising is that it appropriates the methods of groups who use them because they don't have the money for traditional advertising, and because even if they did they would probably not want to support the corporate media system by running commercials on TV or buying full page ads in Newsweek. On the other hand, Microsoft and other companies are resorting to guerilla advertising because people are so jaded and don't respond to traditional Corporate advertising anymore.

      Advertising used to be (way back before I was born) about letting consumers know about a product, and what it offered to the consumer in and of itself (Got Dandruff? Try Listerine! I'm not kidding -- that was in an ad from the forties or so). Nowadays, Corporate advertising is attempting to do nothing less than sell us our identity. Our choices, from the soda we drink or the car we drive to the shirts we wear or, yes, the ISP we use -- reflect not simply the need or desire for those products, but rather who we are as people (I'm a Chevrovel Cavalier Dr. Pepper Macintosh myself). However, this is backfiring these days because really most of the identies they offer are pretty much the same. Hence, the need to explore new forms of advertising, such as guerilla advertising.

      Suddenly Microsoft, with a 90%+ market share of all software and the biggest, richest corporation in America is seen as rebellious, as deviant, as non-conformist. You just can't pay for that kind of advertising -- you also have to plan it carefully and then make sure the media propogates it.

      Microsoft should use its money and influence to introduce positive forms of publicity. How about offering free MSN 8 to various charity organizations?
  • by MyHair (589485) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:00AM (#4529311) Journal
    Did anyone else get the MSN ad with the silhouetted guy with the MSN butterfly suit IN the linked NYT article?

    I did.

    What's sad is that the extra publicity given by the NYT article, an angry NYC and Slashdot may be perceived as good. What's that marketing saying? There's no such thing as bad publicity? Makes me sick.
  • by Vermy (456774) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:03AM (#4529335) Homepage
    I like the title of this article. Vandlizing. Very "professional" journalism. LOL. Anyway.

    For everyone in here having a little fit about "this is stupid" and "does this work" is falling into the whole genius of the marketing ploy. This isn't to persuade someone to buy the product, this is an effort to generate mass press for next to free (minus some self dignity). They are getting you to TALK ABOUT THEIR PRODUCT. Now you guys will run around to your fellow coworkers "Did you see the stupid Microsoft butterfly thing?". And they will tell another employee, who actually isn't technically savy, and might find it interesting, go look it up, and sign up for it. In effect, you, who disdain microsoft, are being used to help them secure customers.

    Let's think about it, they have an entire article on slashdot, a pretty pro Linux group, to discuss the matter about them dressing up a bunch of people for a few bucks and putting them on rollerblades. But the old saying is true, the only bad press is no press at all. The IBM/LINUX graffiti thing proved that. They received TONS of press for just a few, inexpensive pictures of the Tux.

    Marketing 101. Take a course, you may like it.

  • by rogue ronin (620467) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:04AM (#4529346)
    hmm.... Microsoft is advertising by using bugs. Ironic, isn't?
  • by MoThugz (560556) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:04AM (#4529347) Homepage
    not to mention the fact that it is environmentally friendly. Why did I brought up this point?

    Well, because I've seen some poor form of advertising from a rising star of the PC industry [dell.com]. Why do I call it poor? Because they think that it is a good idea to include a pamphlet of their latest offering on every issue of free daily newspapers in Singapore. Basically it's an ad sleeve covering the paper.

    Most of the time people simply pull it out and throw it into the bin. Which is OK in my opinion except that 1/2 an hour later, almost all the bins in the MRT (mass rapid transit) station gets filled to the brim and adverts are flying everywhere. And those marketing guys from that company doesn't seem to bother, or perhaps they are all so bloody rich and never use public transport anyway.

    Before you mod my rant as offtopic, think of the essence of this post which is about advertising (what MS and hyperlinked company are doing) and it's implication on people and the environment.

    P/S: I do not work for neither company, and all opinions expressed are my own.
  • by dbretton (242493) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:05AM (#4529362) Homepage
    I think it would be more like Place all bug on Windows jokes here

    or perhaps: Place all bugs in Windows jokes here

  • SPOOOOOON! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Waab (620192) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:11AM (#4529405) Homepage
    30-40 guys and gals in butterfly suits

    They're not butterflies...they're moths.
    And they're on their way to fight the Uncommon Cold.
  • Rollerbladers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Daleks (226923) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:12AM (#4529420)
    I wish I had a link to submit with this, but strange things are afoot in New York City. At 61st and Broadway, 30-40 guys and gals in butterfly suits colored in the Microsoft colors, and carrying MSN banners just rollerbladed by, screaming at the top of their lungs down the middle of Broadway.

    I saw the same thing in downtown Seattle a few months ago near Pacific Place. The rollerbladers were in all purple spandex bodysuits with the MSN butterfly wings attached to their backs. I wonder if this is how they punish employees that are habitually late to work. I had to clean the employee bathroom once for doing just that...
  • by dbretton (242493) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:16AM (#4529445) Homepage
    Tomorrow I want to see 60 fat little circus midgets dressed up like penguins skateboarding through downtown NYC, screaming at the top of their lungs, and throwing rocks at all the windows:

    "We're short! We're fat! We can't fly! We're pissed! And Windows sucks!"

  • by zentec (204030) <zentecNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:19AM (#4529469)

    Since when has Microsoft obeyed laws?
  • Stupidity (Score:5, Funny)

    by limekiller4 (451497) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:23AM (#4529508) Homepage
    From the article [nytimes.com]:
    "I trust and hope that these offensive activities are not the authorized acts of your organization's employees and agents," Mr. Fernandez [Assistant counsel of the Transportation Department] wrote..."

    Does Mr. Fernandez perhaps believe that Microsoft employees paid for thousands of 20" Microsoft butterflies with Microsoft advertising out of their own pockets?

    OF COURSE IT WAS AN AUTHORIZED ACT YOU TWIT!
  • by Elvisisdead (450946) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:25AM (#4529525) Homepage Journal
    I'm envisioning a group of 50 beat down, tattered and torn butterflies that got the short straw and had to skate through the Bronx and Queens.
  • by cordrg (144872) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:32AM (#4529573)
    Does anyone else find it appropriate that microsoft is using a bug as the icon for their new promotion?
  • by puppetluva (46903) on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:37AM (#4529621)
    I live in New York. They put all of their selfish trash around my living space and I've decided to use it against them. I'm turning their advertisment vandalism into word-of-mouth sabotage. (word-of-mouth is the best way to get the message out, right?)

    I have gone from disliking Microsoft to hating them for spoiling my living environment so to retaliate. . . Everytime someone brings up this abject vandalism in conversation, I make a very specific, understandable point about how Microsoft vandalizes the economic environment and acts as a regular sabateur and law-breaker when it serves their petty interest. It may be annoying to them (heck, I may seem annoying to them by doing it), but these people know that I know what I'm talking about and they start hating Microsoft too. They are reminded of it everytime they see that butterfly trash too. . . hundreds of times a day. I've even heard some people spread the word (of disgust) ;)

    Is this the intended effect? Just because we remember it and talk about it, does that serve their intentions? Everyone recognizes and talks about swastikas at some time in their lives, but I wouldn't call that "buzz" positive.
  • by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:47AM (#4529688) Homepage
    You know, every time I see that logo, I think of Arthur [rose-hulman.edu] from The Tick.

    (You can't see it in these pictures, but yes, he does have wings. Good pictures of him seem to be hard to find. images.google.com found a few, but none were really good ...)

  • Is this wierd?? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ianjk (604032) on Friday October 25, 2002 @11:05AM (#4529820)
    "STEP 3: Cancel your previous account
    If you currently have an AOL account, the TrueSwitch service will be able to cancel your account for you -- just follow the simple instructions. "


    MSN comes with a service that cancels your aol account for you... I wonder what else it can do?
  • Here's a Link (Score:4, Informative)

    by Compulawyer (318018) on Friday October 25, 2002 @11:27AM (#4529968)
    From the Washinton Post - an article [washingtonpost.com] that discusses M$'s new marketing blitz for MSN.

    Can anyone imagine that there is still a market for people who need their hands held as they walk along the Information Superhighway? Nonetheless, I have GOT to get a clip of Billy G. in the reported "Butterfly Suit."

  • by Superfreaker (581067) on Friday October 25, 2002 @12:16PM (#4530392) Homepage Journal
    They had at least 30 rollerbladers (i.e. fruitbooters) skating around dressed like purple butterflies holding signs. Apparently no one liked them as they said "no one likes us".

    Then one got clipped by a taxi.
    Damn butterflies.
  • by Alien Being (18488) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @12:30AM (#4535479)
    Anyone have a .NET?

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