So what’s the story with Microsoft & Jessica Alba

Jessicalbasteveballmer

I went to Microsoft’s big Windows Phone event earlier this week to see if there was anything I need to keep an eye on when it came to company’s latest version of its mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8, which didn’t seem too different from Windows Phone 7. There were, as promised a lot of new shiny toys from Samsung, HTC and of course, Nokia. One of the more exciting parts of the launch was onstage appearance of actress and mom (twice over) Jessica Alba.

She got on stage and played the part of an excited fan and extolled the virtues of the Windows Phone. She ooh-and-aahed about the phone. And when she stopped, she pitched her latest venture, The Honest Company on stage as well.

Given that paparazzi have in the past snapped photos of her with her iPhone, I wondered if the change of heart was for real or was it a paid endorsement. So I asked Microsoft. And didn’t get much of an answer. So I asked again. And I got the same answer from a spokesperson.

As a busy working mom, actress and entrepreneur, Jessica’s here to share how her Windows Phone keeps her connected to the things she cares about most. Yes, she will play a role in our advertising. In the coming weeks you’ll see more from her and a variety of other people that will bring our phone to life through their stories. However, we aren’t sharing anything further about the relationship.

I am guessing it is an endorsement deal. They just don’t want to call it that — the onstage appearance wouldn’t feel authentic if the commercial relationship was made public.

Jessicaalba3

Responses

  1. Jonah (@jonahu) says:

    November 1st, 2012 at 11:53 am Reply

    Om Malik,
    I think it is safe to say that it was a paid endorsement – as to whether or not it was a real change of heart? That could also be possible because the two are not mutually exclusive. I also think it is safe to say that the Samuel Jackson and Zooey Deschannel commercials were also paid endorsements.

  2. Sam Radford (@samradford) says:

    November 1st, 2012 at 2:42 am Reply

    I went back through the last month of her twitter posts and, for at least that period of time, she’s been posting via a Windows Phone. Doesn’t mean she’s not being paid of course, but does indicate she’s been a legitimate user for a while.

  3. Adel Anwar (@adel) says:

    October 31st, 2012 at 10:51 pm Reply

    I agree with mwgeek1 – Jessica was spotted with a Lumia 900 some time back and that went viral. Microsoft and Nokia both took notice and gave her a Lumia 920 and asked her to be a part of the launch. I don’t think this was a paid endorsement.

  4. casper (@caspercdn) says:

    October 31st, 2012 at 8:14 pm Reply

    Jessica who? At least find a semi talented/famous boob (pun intended) instead of yesterday’s news. Hey just like Microsoft, yesterday’s news…

  5. Erik S (@GoodBrain) says:

    October 31st, 2012 at 6:43 pm Reply

    At the very least, it is a cross-promotion deal. Microsoft gets to borrow some of her glamour, and her new venture gets to piggyback on Microsoft’s publicity for WinPhone 8.

    That, or she and Balmer are totally having an affair.

  6. Josh Dahlman (@otherMacGuffin) says:

    October 31st, 2012 at 6:36 pm Reply

    She’s been seen with a blue Lumia 800 in the past and was spotted last week running around with her new red Lumia 920 (and an iPad)

  7. Joel Irwin (@irwindigital) says:

    October 31st, 2012 at 5:19 pm Reply

    She stopped posting to Instagram regularly the last month or so. She was a pretty constant Instagram user.

  8. mwgeek1 says:

    October 31st, 2012 at 11:30 am Reply

    Actually she was spotted with a Lumia 900 in the past and now she has a 920. From everything I’ve seen I believe this is legit and MS and Nokia took notice.

    http://mynokiablog.com/2012/10/04/jessica-alba-spotted-in-new-york-with-cyan-nokia-lumia-900/

  9. rcadden says:

    October 31st, 2012 at 11:16 am Reply

    Interesting, indeed. However, Alba has recently been spotted twice – once with a white Lumia 900, and then a few weeks later (about a week ago) with a red Lumia 920.

    Regardless, I think it was a good move, especially with the focus that Microsoft is putting on Windows Phone being the ‘everyday’ person phone, with a big leaning towards soccer moms and mommy bloggers.

  10. Brandon says:

    October 31st, 2012 at 11:13 am Reply

    C’mon now Om. Of course it is a paid deal. Would a celebrity really be associated that strong with a brand if they were not getting something for it? At the very least she got to pitch her venture to a larger audience.

    By the way, I don’t think there is nothing wrong with celebrity endorsements. It is just another form of advertising… a way to help create buzz.

    In other circumstances, disclosure of celebrity endorsements makes sense. But for an event like this, I don’t think it is more or less authentic. It is no different than Ms. Alba doing an ad or doing an appearance for Revlon.

    @pediatricinc

    1. Om Malik says:

      October 31st, 2012 at 12:35 pm Reply

      Brandon

      I am just surprised why they wouldn’t just talk about it as what it was – that is when I asked them.

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