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Microsoft’s Enthralling Xbox Initiatives

Game Design Development, the worlds fastest growing creative industry for more than two decades, motivated Microsoft in 2001 to launch their Xbox gaming brand in the USA to compete with Sony Computer Entertainment’s 1999 PlayStation 2.

‘Statista’, the German online portal for statistics, calculated that in 2020 there were 2.7 billion dedicated game-players in the world. A staggering total that embraces about one-third of the world’s entire population.

The evidence that game-playing is a habitual part of popular culture, is the number of active mobile devices in constant daily play. The global total is estimated to be more than 4.7 billion, and growing.

(The Game Design Industry is projected to grow by a year-on-year average of 5,9%.)

1. Xbox, Champagne

Advertising Agency: BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty), London, UK

The Xbox ‘Champagne’ commercial of 2002 went viral a month before being screened on television, but was banned shortly thereafter by the UK Independent Television Commission.

The satire and underlying metaphorical humour of the message was completely lost on a handful of viewers who complained that the commercial was offensive, shocking and in bad taste’.

They clearly did not understand the playful mindset of 2 billion active game-players globally at the time, for whom the tongue-in-message was meant and overwhelmingly well received.

Directed by multi award-winning filmmaker Daniel Kleinman, the commercial, despite its UK television ban, went on to receive multiple awards which included a Cannes International Advertising Festival Gold Lion for Entertainment & Leisure, and an Art Directors Club of Europe overall Grand Prix and Gold award for Cinema Commercials.

2. Microsoft Xbox One, Invitation

Advertising Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Directed by filmmaker Bryan Buckley, Xbox One’s ‘Invitation’ is a filmic extravaganza for gamer fans to join their favourite characters in the next generation of games and immersive entertainment via Xbox’s new console.

The soundtrack music is by Swedish garage rockers the ‘Hives’.

3. Microsoft Xbox, Changing The Game

Advertising Agency: McCann, New York, USA

Cannes Festival Titanium 2019

The launch of Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller began with a two-minute commercial by filmmaker and director Bryan Buckley that was aired during the 2019 American Super Bowl Football Championships.

The innovative brand initiative, that levelled the playing field for 33 million game-players with disabilities, became the talk of the nation and far beyond, with coverage on many international news channels.

4. Microsoft Xbox, Reindeer Games

Advertising Agency: m:united//McCann, New York, USA

Directed by filmmaker Bryan Buckley, ‘Reindeer Games’ centres on the heartwarming story of 9 year Owen Simons who is a keen gamer, but cannot handle a conventional game controller with any dexterity owing to his Escobar Syndrome.

However, with Xbox’s Adaptive Controller, named by Time Magazine as one the world’s best inventions of 2018, and with the support of his real-life best friend Gunnar and other neighbourhood pals, he is able to master his game-playing with jubilant success.

5. Microsoft Xbox, Power Your Dreams

Advertising Agency: 215 McCann, San Francisco, California, USA

Directed by filmmaker Ian Pons Jewell, and starring British writer and actor Daniel Kaluuya, the commercial features spectacular and immersive visuals of dream-inspired worlds, as part of Xbox’s global campaign for their all-new Xbox Series consoles.
The Xbox Series X is the fastest, most powerful Xbox to date with faster load times, higher frame rates, and with richer and more dynamic exploratory environment visualisation. The Series X also has the smallest Xbox console yet designed by Microsoft.