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Microsoft Turns the “World’s Most Viewed Picture” into an Ugly Holiday Sweater

“It looks good on a monitor, but better on you.” That’s the legendary tagline for this soon-to-be iconic ugly holiday sweater featuring the “world’s most viewed picture,” that green and blue landscape that has shipped as the default screensaver on Microsoft Windows for nearly a quarter century. This is the perfect combination of nostalgia, dorkiness and understated cultural commentary.

In other words, likely to be a bestseller. More broadly, as a marketing tactic there is an insight here; what if you focused on the one thing that is most recognizable about your brand, even if it’s widely ignored or ridiculed? Microsoft has done this before, with the resurgence of Clippy, and now once again with this inspired sweater design. Someone in Microsoft’s marketing team is either playing a brilliant strategic long game, or running out of new ideas. Or maybe a little of both. 

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Rohit is the author of 9 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.


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