The Xbox uproar
It is a longstanding fact that every time any President speaks, someone somewhere is going to find the words offensive and/or controversial. The same thing happened again recently after President Obama’s speech to school children. Despite the positive message that was conveyed (you know, stay in school, try hard, and do not give up—the things often said by just about every educational administrator and teacher), there were several uproars.
The uproar that stands out as perhaps one of the sillier, less politically charged ones is the reaction of some within the ‘techie’ industry: President Obama complimented Google, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter, but ‘slammed’ Microsoft with his Xbox comment: “I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.” If an individual said something similar to another in a café or classroom somewhere, it is doubtful that there would be any serious repercussions in terms of brand-preference controversy. But when a lot of cameras and microphones are on, words can take on a whole new meaning. It is interesting to think that as more people listen to you the harder it is to get your point across clearly.
Microsoft Threatened by Obama? Nope
What was said by President Obama sounds like good advice, especially if you consider the obesity epidemic. But some suspect that there is some kind of preference at work here, and that Microsoft, somehow, was treated unfairly. I would hardly call the President’s comment—which was primarily aimed towards students anyhow and not at the company’s in question—an example of bashing or indicative of an anti-Microsoft sentiment. Even if it was an outright insult to Microsoft—e.g., the President instead said “Microsoft sucks—go with Apple”—it is doubtful that the Lord of Operating Systems would be put down for the count. December of last year marked a moment when Microsoft’s market share went down below 90% for the first time and ranked in at ‘only’ 89.6% (oh no!!!). Granted, harsh words coming from the person who is essentially the most famous and influential individual in the United States for 4 to 8 years might cause some backlashes, but it also might force Microsoft to up their game still more. They certainly have the capital to do so.
I am sure that plenty of people wish he was harsher in his speech when it came to the big M, however obliquely. You know who you are…
SEO is Involved in this How…? How about Social Media and other Acronyms?
Well, this whole weird scenario is a great example of what can happen when, as mentioned above, a lot of people are listening to you, whether you’re the President or someone/something who/that is incredibly popular on Twitter or Google. With great popularity comes the great possibility to miscommunicate regardless of your best efforts; and you have to work extra, more-than-best hard to ensure that everything conveyed is perfectly understood. It can be irritating for those at the top but, alas, it must be done. In an era where just about anybody can hear you if you want them to, be prepared to have these kinds of silly reactions happen and, if you have the time, to deign to respond to them.
Microsoft will be fine; there is no need to sympathize
Everyone (well, almost everyone) can take a deep breath and relax: your PCs are not going to suffer because of what the President said, and neither are your Xboxes. Don’t forget about Macs and Playstation though, just in case.
Rest easy; play hard.
This entry was posted on Friday, September 11, 2009 and is filed under Integrated Marketing.