Microsoft's approach to digital storytelling

Stephen Whiteside

Earlier this year, Microsoft's "Make What's Next" program hinted at the future of marketing by mixing a progressive message with immersive storytelling and a digital-only distribution model.

The primary piece of tentpole content supporting this campaign – released to coincide with International Women's Day 2016 – identified an underlying bias in the US education system. More specifically, a male-dominated curriculum meant that most girls aged between seven and 15-years-old could name a Thomas Edison or a Benjamin Franklin, but struggled to think of a technological pioneer of their own gender.

"We asked little girls if they could name any male inventors, and they could. And then we asked if they could name female [inventors], and they couldn't," Kathleen Hall, Corporate Vice President/Global Advertising and Media at Microsoft, said during a session at Advertising Week 2016.