My wife and I saw one of Microsoft’s new “Rookies” campaign commercials, and I have to tell you, it’s one of the cutest things we’ve seen in awhile. Then I saw the ad again, and I got to thinking. The star of the commercial, Kylie, is 4 ½ years old, and she is demonstrating how easy it is to use Microsoft Windows Live. Kylie is adorable, authentic, and charismatic as one of the latest faces in Microsoft’s new “I’m a PC” campaign.
But is Kylie a legitimate PC? Did she have a choice as a consumer? Even most Catholics don’t commit to the Church through confirmation until they are in their teens and they’ve reached “the age of reason.” When a company uses a customer testimonial, shouldn’t the testimonial come from someone who actually chooses to use that company’s product (or at least has the purchasing power to buy the product)?
The point of the “Rookies” campaign is to suggest that Windows is so easy to use that even children can use it. Well, I know plenty of adults who don’t think the new Windows is easy to use, and I doubt Microsoft can wipe out those real-life frustrations with an adorable, pint-sized spokesperson.
So I suppose the question I’m asking is, is it okay to use children in testimonials for products they haven’t actually chosen, or is this an instance of marketers being evil?