Sexist Letter in Marketing Campaign for Xbox One


In case you were unaware, Microsoft launched its successor to the Xbox 360 last week (Friday 22 November). The Xbox One has already had a hugely positive launch, selling one million units in the first 24 hours. Despite costing $499 compared to the $399 of the PS4, consumers have not been deterred from buying the next-gen gaming console.

Heavy Investment in Advertising

As you might have witnessed, Microsoft has been pouring resources into the marketing of Xbox One, feeding the web with videos and TV with adverts. Potential consumers in the 13 launch countries of the Xbox One have been made heavily aware of the new console. But outside of the standard marketing efforts, Microsoft has attempted humour in the form of a customisable letter to be given from men to their girl friends/wives.

Sexist Marketing Letter

Now, while it is admirable that Microsoft attempted something creative in its marketing campaign for the new console, the letter has drawn strong criticism for its sexist depiction of females. In all honesty, this was always going to be a problem, considering the letter is written from the prospective of a man trying to convince his girl friend/wife why they need to purchase one.

Offends Female Gamers

In response to the criticism, Microsoft quickly adjusted the letter to remove an introductory line that implied women would prefer knitting to killing zombies. This was a bold yet foolish move by Microsoft, with global technology giant blatantly courting criticism from its female players. The intent for the campaign was certainly more positive than its execution, which was poorly thought out.

40% of Gamers are Female

Getting back to the letter, it can be customised in highlighted portions to enter names of games and tweak phrases (find examples here). In hindsight, it could have been amusing and enjoyable, but instead it has annoyed female gamers. This is especially foolish when you consider that 40 per cent of gamers are women, according to (Photo credit to netzkobold)

By Mike Porter