At first glance, Microsoft’s International Women’s Day ad seems like another one of those melancholy videos – see here, here and here - where viewers are shown the ways in which gender stereotypes can negatively affect girls.
In Microsoft's video, young girls are asked to name inventors. The usual suspects come up – Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell – but when they’re asked to rattle off some women inventors, the girls go quiet.
Yet the video picks up steam halfway through when upbeat music starts to play and some inventions created by women start to flash across the screen, like Sarah Mather’s underwater telescope and Tabitha Babbitt’s circular saw.
Created by McCann’s M:United, the overall message of the campaign is that young girls need to learn about female inventors if we as a society truly want to see more women working in fields like science and technology.
Using the hashtag #MakeWhatsNext, Microsoft is encouraging young women to make their STEM dreams a reality. Girls can visit Microsoft’s Make What’s Next website to find tips, inspiration, information and even a Patent Program.
The campaign is launching in 35 countries and will include broadcast, online video and social media elements.
See some of the other campaign videos below: