We All Win: How Microsoft Used Powerful Storytelling to Capture a Nation

The commercial breaks seemed to have more action than the game this year during the lowest scoring Super Bowl in NFL history. An ad that scored big, making a lasting impression, was Microsoft’s commercial titled, “We All Win.” With the average cost of a 30-second ad slot in the Super Bowl being $5.25 million, any time on-screen was used very intentionally. Microsoft, instead of featuring a product that supports a large share of its revenue, chose to feature the new Xbox Adaptive Controller that told a story instead.

This seems to be a game-winning strategy as the commercial has generated a lot of conversation, been featured in many “Best Ads of 2019” articles, and generated almost 26 million views on YouTube in less than a week. According to a report by TheStreet, Microsoft stock saw a 2.9% increase following the heartwarming commercial that features the stories of the users of Microsoft’s new Xbox Adaptive Controller that makes video games more accessible for populations with physical disabilities.


The commercial starts by introducing the users of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, telling the story of how they can connect, have fun, and feel like any other kid with this new device. A dad of one of the boys, overcome with emotion, explains that his son is “not different when he plays”. A young girl, filled with excitement, shares that the controller allows her to “hit the buttons just as fast as they can”. Microsoft’s technology is allowing these kids, who overcome obstacles foreign to a lot of the population, to compete on a more even playing field, playing games they love with friends they have fun with. In the full video below, you can see the stories of six children with their bright smiles and enthusiastic spirits kindled by Microsoft’s technology.



Microsoft employs powerful storytelling, sharing the snippets of these children and their families, to highlight the role that their technology plays to improve lives. The commercial shows viewers that Microsoft isn’t a certain product, it’s a technology company that provides solutions to problems that we face in our lives today. It is a potential equalizer that can allow everyone to play, because “when everyone plays, we all win”. It’s hard to argue with the boy in the ad that explains this is “a really good thing to have in this world”.


Creating technology that enhances the lives of people is Microsoft’s brand story and this rang true with the audience of the Super Bowl this year. Looking at your own business and brand, it is easy to get caught up with each little detail of your product or service and trying to make others understand what makes it the best. When you instead start with what spurred you to create the offering in the first place, what your brand story is, you find a message that customers are ready to relate to and get behind. After seeing Microsoft’s ad, I am not necessarily compelled to buy an Xbox Adaptive Controller, but I feel that what I purchase from that company will be geared towards helping me perform at my best just like those kids in the ads. Telling a brand story that connects with the emotions of your audience and makes them feel excited about what you do was the winning move for Microsoft in Super Bowl LIII and can be the winning move for your business too.

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