Microsoft: Your Phone is Your Lover

by Jordan Richardson on December 14, 2011

The proliferation of technology continues to be one of the most substantial cultural issues we face today. Many sociologists have studied just how attached we are to our smartphones and other tech gadgets and have discovered troubling results. Studies have revealed that some consumers actually experience physical symptoms of withdrawal if they can’t access their gadgets or, at the very least, get on Facebook. There’s even an unofficial term for it: “nomophobia.”

It should come as no surprise that the tech giants would exploit our sometimes dangerous “love” of gadgets and consumer products in hopes of selling us more gadgets we can become desperately devoted to.

Even the most perfunctory peek at various advertising campaigns in Canada reveals how this relationship is emerging. WirelessWave, a telecommunications provider and subsidiary of Glentel, has used the tagline “Love the Phone” for ages. Rogers, meanwhile, featured an advertisement in which a shrill girl got mad at a friend for getting fingerprints on her precious smartphone screen.

The plugging of products over and above the importance of human relationships is nothing new in the advertising game, of course, but the new path plotted by a number of tech companies, including Microsoft, takes the theme to the next level.

“There’s been this mistaken belief that consumers interact with their phone in much the same way that they interact with their PC, except for the fact that it’s portable,” Natasha Hritzuk, the Canadian head of Microsoft’s global advertising strategy, said. “When you start to think about the phone, and even how we physically interact with it, at any given time, the phone is very near and dear to us, which is one of the characteristics of the lover.”

Yes, a “lover.”

The notion comes out of Microsoft’s “Meet the Screens” study, a report that “reveals the deep psychological relationships consumers have with the different screens in their lives.” The report apparently revealed that customers feel “emotionally close” to their mobile device.

What this means for Microsoft’s advertising strategy is uncertain on a specific level, but we can certainly anticipate more advertising than ever tailored to appeal to the emotions of the user. In the domain of mobile phones, where your device is seemingly your lover, the wooing has only just begun.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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