New Lease of Life For Microsoft Paperclip ‘Clippy’

21st July 2021

Following a vote of likes via Twitter and Instagram, Microsoft says it will be bringing back ‘Clippy’ the paperclip virtual assistant, but in as new, friendly-looking Emoji.


From 1997 and until the mid-2000s, Microsoft Office users were used to seeing a paperclip symbol popping up on the screen to give help and advice about a wide variety of tasks. Unfortunately, ‘Clippy’ the paperclip was phased out after many users found the symbol’s constant appearances to be more annoying than helpful, and it was not included in XP. Users of Apple or Google smartphones, however, will still only be able to see the basic, old version of Clippy as a 2D paperclip.

Tweet & Insta Post

Microsoft’s Insta post and Tweet included a picture of the new, 3D emoji ‘Clippy’ with the massage “If this gets 20k likes, we’ll replace the paperclip emoji in Microsoft 365 with Clippy.”  As it turned out, that number of likes was surpassed within a day.

Part of Bigger Emoji Re-Design Push

The resurrection of the modernised ‘Clippy’ was, in fact, a way for Microsoft to help publicise a general upgrading of all its emojis to 3D versions ahead of last Saturday’s ‘World Emoji Day’. July 17 is the date of the annual “emoji day” which is reported to be the day chosen by the London-based founder of Emojipedia, Jeremy Burge.

Will Clippy Be Annoying Again?

Clippy was brought back for only one day back in 2019 as an animated pack of sticker freebies for Teams software users on Microsoft’s official Office developer GitHub page.

This now inevitable second return of Clippy has prompted many who remember the original Clippy to ask whether the emoji-fied version will be used in a way that could be as annoying as the first generation Clippy. It is, however, unclear how Clippy will be deployed and received this second (technically third) time around.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Microsoft has used World Emoji Day to introduce a branding element that it has been waiting to re-introduce for some time, and to give leverage to its promotion of the upgrading and modernising of all its emoji characters. This announcement, plus other recent Tweets from Microsoft, such as showing a screenshot of Tetris for Windows in 1990, helps to remind users of the brand history, nostalgia, and their connection with the brand over time, thereby, hopefully strengthening loyalty and triggering other positive memories about the Microsoft brand, which can only help as it steps up its competition with Apple.