If you were struggling to convince a loved one that an Xbox One would be a good purchase then Microsoft created a tool to help. The webpage in question would allow wannabe Xbox One owners to create a letter designed to convince a significant other that it was a worthwhile purchase. Certain details could be substituted to tailor the letter, such as the addressee, the subject game and activities that the other party may prefer to engage in. Unfortunately though, the default letter created by Microsoft read like this:
‘Not sure if you’ve heard, but Xbox One is now available. That means we can start playing games like Dead Rising 3. I know, I know. You’d rather knit than watch me slay zombies, but hear me out on this. Xbox One is actually for both of us. Seriously.’
No specific genders were mentioned in the promotion of course, but the internet community reacted strongly to their assessment of the reinforcement of certain stereotypes regarding women. Microsoft was quick to respond to the Twitter fury it faced (it’s getting used to damage control after all!), with a spokesperson explaining:
‘The letter is fully customizable and we meant no offense, but understand how the defaults could be perceived. We’re making changes to the letter defaults and apologize for the oversight.’
Alterations to the letter were quickly implemented, with knitting removed as an option and replaced with other activities such as doing taxes or watching cat videos on the internet. The backlash continued however, and so Microsoft eventually replaced its options with blank spaces for the user to complete, and then (for now at least) removed the letter template from its website altogether.
Is the internet community determined to bash Microsoft or was this genuinely a sexist and inappropriate marketing strategy? What do you think? Have your say in the comments below.
Article by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 11/28/2013