Humorous Ad Clobbered by Microsoft

March 10, 2010
By Holly Deyo

While living in Australia in 1999, Toyota's "Buggah" Ute truck campaign debuted. The first time we saw it, we laughed till tears poured down. Who hasn't had a visit from "Murphy" (Murphy's Law) and things didn't go quite as planned? This ad captured it perfectly.

Since the video is making the rounds again via email and websites, we thought to share the humor. If you're offended by the word in question, stop here, otherwise, click to view.

Buggah was so successful it spawned an array of keepsakes, photos and even a screensaver, which graced my computer for several years. The hilarious ad ran as initially screened until some people complained about the cow segment, which was subsequently deleted. With or without the cow vignette, the ad still got the point across. The commercial clearly shows Aussie's relaxed sense of humor, which we hope you can appreciate.

The commercial is no longer availably on Toyota's site and the software no longer works on current Mac platforms. A year or so later, Bugger disappeared from TV and we thought it'd run it's course. Now here's the the rest of the story...

Reuters, AP. 1 April, 2000.

In a landmark decision, the Australian Commercial Practices Court today ruled that Toyota is no longer allowed to run its advertising campaign based on the word "Bugger". Explained Court spokesman Loof Lirpa, "Some time ago Microsoft took out an injunction against the use of the word 'Bugger' in Toyota's ad. It was argued that 'Bugger' had been associated with Windows far longer and far more deeply than with Toyota's utes."

Lirpa went on to suggest that every Windows user in the world uses the word at least once a day as a direct result of using Windows. "No other product has ever achieved that degree of market recognition and for Toyota to muscle in on it was clearly a breach of commercial etiquette and, ipso facto, copyright."

Microsoft is now planning a media-wide campaign using their catch-word. A copy that has been leaked to us shows several familiar faces - Steven King is shown saving the last page of his new 800 page blockbuster in Word and then re-opening it to find that it has been reduced to three smiley faces and half a dozen Japanese characters. He smiles wanly at the camera and says "......"

Kerry Packer is shown shaking his head knowingly and muttering "......" when he discovers that the spreadsheet on which he based his latest $4 billion takeover has suffered from the notorious Excel "four sevens are thirty six" feature and that the Ayer's Rock Hot Pie Company is somewhat overvalued.

The head of the CIA (with his faced pixilated) is shown shouting "......" on finding that Outlook has just e-mailed the entire contents of his hard drive to the head of the KGB. She, in turn, says "byugyah" when the files are found to be in last year's Access format.

A spokesthing for Microsoft commented, "This is a logical move for the company that used "You make a grown man cry" and "The damned and accursed are convicted to the flames of Hell" as advertising slogans for its software. We anticipate establishing the slogan in the marketplace by including a t-shirt printed with "Bugger Microsoft" in every box of our software."

The notion that "bugger" was associated with Microsoft could be due to all of the patches it's required, "flopware" produced like Vista with more than 250,000 errors and on-going security dramas. Our standard answer is get a Mac!

Last tidbit in the Bugger saga was the death of its star...