Cannes Lions

Find Your Joy

McCANN , New York / MICROSOFT / 2021

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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

Microsoft creates some of the world’s most beloved games: from Xbox and Flight Simulator to Minecraft and Halo. Despite this, most people only see Microsoft as the “productivity-enabler,” relegating it to the brand that ends at Office and Windows. To avoid risking the future of the business, and inspire a next generation of fans, we needed to translate the love for our products to love for Microsoft, the brand.

Amid the multi-dimensional COVID-19 crisis, these products were playing an amplified role in people’s lives. For example: When we couldn’t connect in person, engagement in multiplayer games like Minecraft skyrocketed. When we couldn’t travel, Flight Simulator hit record-breaking growth in mere months.

No longer were these products just loved. They were playing an essential role of helping us escape to other worlds, in service of our well-being. We needed to show Microsoft was behind these beloved (and now essential) products.

Idea

The holidays are about giving. As we approached the holiday season amid a difficult year, people were especially in need of a gift that could bring joy. So instead of creating a campaign that reminded people of reality, we wanted to give the gift of a little escape and bring people a dose of optimism.

Because this year, in a world where it wasn’t possible to connect like we used to, people looked to technology to fill the gap. Escapism became not just a way to be entertained, but foundational to our well-being. We discovered how escapism changes our outlook on our own life. How it cultivates connections, And how it helps us achieve more together.

So we set out to celebrate how escaping to new worlds gives us new perspective on our own.

Strategy

Each of these favorite products’ audiences have unique attributes. For years, we’ve targeted them in separate campaigns that would do their cohort justice. But this time was different.

To shine a light on the beloved products created by Microsoft, we needed to define not what sets these audiences apart, but instead, what unites them. The global pandemic was affecting everyone: we all had a fundamental need to find positivity, an escape, and a belief that we will get through this.

We wanted to bring Microsoft’s worlds together for the first time to demonstrate their ability to provide us with a new perspective and provide joy.

Our strategy was to show how Microsoft technology lets you escape to a joyful place.

Execution

We debuted on social and broadcast with a film that reunited two cooped up dogs and showed them finding new joy in our brand's biggest product worlds. After the film, we gave everyone the worlds they just witnessed, for free.

Minecraft Dogtopia

The first Minecraft dog world, built from scratch to help people escape from the real one. It currently has 4M+ downloads, a 4.5 star review, and countless YouTube tutorials and gameplays.

Dog-Inspired Planes

Brand new plane designs we created, based on our dog heroes, for anyone to fly for free in Flight Simulator.

Global Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt we hosted on Twitter that prompted pilots to fly our new planes and find 14 global landmarks we decorated for the holidays like never before.

Joy-filled backgrounds

On Teams, we gifted everyone dog-inspired backgrounds to bring more joy to any meeting.

Each experience was crafted virtually and digitally from scratch in only a month's time.

In total, the campaign was localized in 36 languages and amplified in 130 markets.

Outcome

With Find Your Joy, we were recognized for bringing the world a dose of optimism this holiday season. In doing so, we successfully channeled product love into brand love for Microsoft.

Reach:

- 16 million video views – a 433% increase in video views compared to our benchmark

Engagement:

- Overall engagements increased 545% from our benchmark

- 3.8 million downloads of the Dogtopia Fan Extension

- 9,000 brand mentions on social for the campaign

Impact:

+21 point increase in perception that “Microsoft is a brand I love” among target audience

+7 point increase in "likelihood to try Microsoft products" among target audience

+11 point increase in perception that “Microsoft innovates in ways that matter to me” among target audience

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