“The World’s Most Popular Browser Just Got Cuter.” *

Inori Aizawa, Microsoft Explorer, personified.

Inori Aizawa, Microsoft Explorer, personified.

Wow. Courtesy of your classmate Timothy Lee, here is Microsoft Singapore’s attempt to make more people fall in love with Internet Explorer: a cute, cat-loving and evil-fighting girl named Inori Aizawa.

Hey everyone! My name is Inori and you can think of me as a personification of Internet Explorer.

When I was younger, I used to be a clumsy, slow and awkward girl.

However, just like the story of ugly duckling, people told me that I have really matured and changed over the years. I feel confident in my abilities now, and I’m eager to show you what I can do.

Why don’t you get to know me a little better?

This is clearly Microsoft Singapore’s initiative, as the Inori Aizawa character doesn’t seem to have been exported elsewhere.

Does it work? Would a similar tactic work  in other regions  (perhaps not so manga-esque a character)? Why do you think the creators saw Explorer as a girl?

Interesting that in this video (https://www.facebook.com/internetexplorertan) the operating metaphor is search as a battle against evil….hmmm like

And perhaps most importantly, if Bing was a character, what would he look and act like? (I’m not sure why, but I’m fairly confident that Bing is male.) …Sheldon?

The character Sheldon Cooper, from the tv series "The Big Bang Theory."

The character Sheldon Cooper, from the tv series “The Big Bang Theory.”

 

 

 

 

 

* actual language from the company’s facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/internetexplorertan/app_1422641071287146

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2 thoughts on ““The World’s Most Popular Browser Just Got Cuter.” *

  1. Yibo Duan

    A very strange attempt to add an emotional attribute to a functional product. I could never imagine the “dreaded” Internet Explorer manifesting in such a way. Although it seems that given the youth culture in Singapore, which heavily favours Japanese culture i.e. anime and manga, it is a fair move to target that age group.

    Reply
  2. Mark Patey

    I’m not sure why Microsoft would have saw internet explorer as a girl. As Yibo says it is a very functional product, and it can be difficult to try and add such an emotional attribute to a web browser. Maybe the girl is meant to personify the brand in a way that is light, fun, expressive, and ‘cute’ for the youth culture in Singapore (as Yibo was saying). A boy may have brought more masculine personality elements?

    Hard to say if this personification will generate significant resonance for the brand, as Yibo says it is a functional product and people may or may not wish to associate their web browser with an anime character.

    I like the blurb as it sort of ties back to internet explorer being the original browser. Talks about “when I was younger”, and “how much more confident I am now, and that you should get to know me better”. It really makes me think of how Internet Explorer was the first real browser I ever used, until the market expanded in the 2000’s. They were fairly dominant for some time, and this blurb really reminds us of how Internet Explorer was there first, and how the brand has come a long way since it started out. It almost makes you feel guilty for leaving the brand, and makes you want to get to know the browser better again.

    It’s an interesting association, and I can see how it works. The big question is will personification really resonate with people, and bring people back to the ‘original browser’?

    Reply

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