D&AD winner: Microsoft adaptive controller brings gaming to everyone

05/06/2019

Developed in partnership with the accessibility community, the Xbox Adaptive Controller enables gamers to customise their controller set-up in a manner that works best for them. The campaign won a prestigious D&AD award.

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During the Super Bowl in February 2019, Microsoft aired a 60-second ad titled ‘We All Win’, the latest installation in the company’s journey of empowerment and inclusion — showcasing how the Xbox Adaptive Controller is designed primarily to meet the needs of gamers with limited mobility.

The ad follows the stories of passionate young gamers, including nine-and-a-half-year-old Owen, rising to the top of their respective games with a little help from their friends, family, and the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The story illustrates Microsoft’s commitment to building accessible technology that levels the playing field and creates opportunity for all, ending with the line: “When everybody plays, we all win.”

The extended spot, done by m:united//McCann New York, shows kids with limited mobility talking about how they interacted with a regular Xbox controller, with some definite difficulties. They are then seen taking the Adaptive Controller out of the box and with it, they can more easily play games, interact with friends, and gain confidence.

The parents of some of the kids get emotional when talking how the new controller has helped their kids in both gaming and life. Microsoft first introduced Owen in December 2018 during its holiday spot, ‘Reindeer Games.’

The results

“Our intent with our ads is to illustrate a product and a human truth and deliver on our mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. In this instance, the Xbox Adaptive Controller helps the children enhance their gaming experience and compete in new ways,” said Kathleen Hall, corporate vice-president, brand, advertising and research, Microsoft. “What better message for a premiere sporting event?”

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