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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 5, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Is this Microsoft ad sexist?

Microsoft recently released an ad that has been generating some buzz — but likely not for the reasons Microsoft intended.

The ad, called “Honestly: Wedding Planner,” features a woman talking about why she chose a Windows all-in-one PC with a touchscreen, rather than a Mac, and how she and her friends/bridesmaids use it to plan her upcoming wedding.

The ad has been called misguided and sexist, exasperating and condescending, and accused of perpetuating “the idea that women are less equipped to interact with technology.”

However, some commenters, in response to those articles decrying the ad, have defended it as marketing designed to target certain women in a specific demographic. Some also  pointed out that Microsoft has produced other ads in the series with less stereotypically traditional portrayals of women.

Those include ads featuring a paramedic and a professional talking about using their Windows 2-in-1 tablet-laptop hybrids for their work, studies and personal lives.

They’re part of a series of ads Microsoft launched last year called “Honestly,” in which the people featured talk to the camera about why they chose Microsoft products.

The song featured in all those ads, by the way, is Sara Bareilles’ “Brave,” which features the lyrics: “Honestly, I want to see you be brave.” We’re not sure what, exactly, Microsoft is trying to say by featuring that wording: That it’s brave to use Microsoft products? That using those products empowers people to be braver?

The song was also featured in a “Celebrating the Heroic Women of 2013” video from Microsoft that received a far warmer welcome in the blogosphere than the “Wedding Planner” ad.

 

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: advertising, marketing

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