Kathleen Hall, Microsoft’s Corporate VP/Brand, Advertising and Research, discussed this subject during a session at Advertising Week 2017.
As Microsoft, by its nature, always is several steps ahead of the consumers it expects to engage, the brand is thoughtful about how it communicates technological progress, she reported..
“Moving forward, there are a lot of amazing things technology can do,” said Hall. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: Microsoft builds insights; creatives build ads.)
“With artificial intelligence – in and of itself, a scary phrase – we talk about human enhancement, about, ‘How do we have technology do things that make us use our brains better and more effectively?’ That’s, ultimately, the goal.”
And, to reach that goal – while staying human – Hall said that Microsoft is “super-careful” regarding how technology is “positioned and prioritised and exposed to people”.
That is especially the case given the knowledge that moving too quickly can generate what she called “the fear of displacement” among consumers.
“Look at the Industrial Revolution,” said Hall. “When we created manufacturing lines, everybody felt like there were going to be no jobs for regular people.
“We have to think about that, and about how [we can] get involved in things like education and retraining, and making sure that people are prepared for the jobs of the future.”
Coupled with this focus on humanity is an emphasis on being humble enough to recognise that no brand, whatever its history, is infallible.
“There’s ‘humility’ – an interesting word I don’t think gets said very often [in marketing] – in authenticity. There’s a sense that we don’t know it all; we’re not perfect; we’re going to learn; we’ll make mistakes,” said Hall.
“It’s just like a human relationship: The more reality you feel, the more humility you feel, and then more likely you’re [going to win over] people.
“The key thing is finding your truth and being honest with yourselves about that truth. Sometimes, what you want to be and what you is are not the same things. If you’re not authentic within, you’re not authentic without.”
Sourced from WARC