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MSI goes to a weird place in its new ‘overclocking’ app ad

Sex sells, but MSI continues to do it badly in its YouTube ads


It doesn’t take a Jezebelian feminist to see the over the top, nearly comical, sexism and stereotypes in MSI’s YouTube ads.

The company’s new ad for its “overclocking” app (with single digit speed increases) has what is quickly becoming trademark for advertising from technology companies: portrayal of women as bumbling sex objects.

Within the first eight seconds of part one the commercial, we are reminded that woman can’t drive, and after 30 seconds we see that only man can fix a woman’s (computer) problems.


The second part of the ad, released a few days ago, is heavy on the BDSM references. Yes BDSM. It’s complete with a short skirted instructor clothed in military garb brandishing a whip.


Not all technology companies are like MSI. Some companies have a sense of shame when they put out an incredibly bad YouTube ad. Consider Samsung’s SSD from late August; it was chalk full of sexism and racial stereotypes. But after a particularly scathing Reddit thread, the company’s Korean sense of shame kicked in and it first made the ad unlisted on YouTube then finally vaporized it from the ether of YouTube.

Now in contrast, MSI’s amazingly bad YouTube advert from June featuring a bikini-clad taimei is still online and was playing on screen’s in the lobby of its corporate headquarters as of late July. Just think for a minute about the semiotics of this piece. Then shudder.

[youtube id=”GvNnv7nh2Es” width=”620″ height=”360″]

All this is from a sector where companies compete as to who can have the more lavish display of sexuality from their booth showgirls during Computex and the Consumer Electronics Show. Sure, sex sells, but only when it does it with class and MSI does it badly and weirdly.

MSI’s marketing department probably isn’t deliberately sexist, just ignorant. But sometimes, as we continue to see from the company, ignorance is bliss.

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