As part of its #MakeWhatsNext campaign, in time for International Women's Day, Microsoft asked young girls what they would like to do when they grow up. They answered in everything from medicine to science to technology and more. Then Microsoft gave them a glimpse of the future in a VR headset. Then they pulled the plug on their dreams and told them good luck with that. Because only 6.7% of American women, and 16% globally ever graduate with STEM degrees. The girls are crestfallen but not beaten and vow to be those ones to do it because no one is going to stop them. Nor should any one stop them.
What I don't understand from this ad is exactly who or what is preventing so many of them graduating with STEM degrees. The spot wants me to visit Make What's Next presumably to find out. But if you go there, the site is primarily designed to get girls to learn computer science which is understandable. While I don't doubt Microsoft's noble intentions here, I do think throwing a negative statistic in young girls' faces, after inspiring them, is not a great way to keep them inspired. They don't even ask why that statistic exists. How effectively can a problem be solved without naming the root cause?

CLIENT: Microsoft: Kathleen Hall – CVP, Global Advertising & Media Deana Singleton – GM, Global Advertising Jenny Leahy – Director, Global Social and Media Partnerships Ron Schott – Senior Mar Com Manager Markus Weickenmeier – Senior Manager, Global Advertising Vivian Lee – Manager, Global Advertising AGENCY: M:united//McCann Creative: Sean Bryan – Co-Chief Creative Officer Tom Murphy – Co-Chief Creative Officer Susan Young –Executive Creative Director Daniela Vojta –Executive Creative Director David Cappolino – Copywriter Julie Koong – Art Director Kelly Kim – Designer Elina Rudkovskaya – Copywriter, Social William Montgomery – Art Director, Social Creative Technology: David Cliff – Director of Creative Technology Alicia Foor – Creative Technologist Production: Aaron Kovan – Director of Integrated Production Carolyn Johnson – Executive Producer Rebecca Magner - Producer Jeremy Adirim – Director of Interactive Production Charlotte Popper – Interactive Producer Music Production: Eric Johnson – Executive Integrated Music Producer Sam Belkin – Music Coordinator Account: John Dunleavy - President Kevin Nelson – Managing Director Tina Galley – Executive Account Director Rosemary Calderone – Group Account Director Sarah Keiber – Group Account Director, Social Courtney LeBlanc – Account Director Sam Schmidt – Account Executive Ellie Choi – Account Executive, Social Project Management: Stella Warkman – Director of Project Management Vinny Tran – Senior Project Manager Strategy: Michelle Kiely – Global Director of Strategy Justin Ballheim – Strategy Director PRODUCTION Tool of North America: JJ Adler – Director Oliver Fuselier – Managing Partner, Live Action Brad Johns – Executive Producer Greg Jones – Producer Laura Merians – DP Cosmo Street Editorial: Tessa Davis – Editor Josh Berger – Assistant Editor Becca Reil – Producer Yvette Sears – Executive Producer Framestore VFX: Sarah Hiddlestone, Head of Production/EP Karen Czukerberg - Senior Producer Raven Sia - Senior Producer Karl Woolley - Head of VR Andy Rowan Robinson – Creative Director Steve Drew – Compositing Supervisor Raul Ortego – Head of Flame Beau Leon - Colorist Jonah Braun - Color Assist Designers Marc Smith Abram Seaman 3D Patrick Ross Georgios Cherouvim Georgios Papaioannou Jacob Slutsky Glory Zheng Mohamed Echkouna Sean Curran Shayne Ryan Will Frazier