Cannes Lions

Microsoft Codebook

MICROSOFT CORPORATION, Bellevue / MICROSOFT / 2021

Presentation Image

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

Situation:

For six years, Microsoft has been focused on transforming our corporate culture from a company of 'knowers' to a company of 'learners.' The effort is paying off. We have seen our progress reflected in our brand perception, product innovation and purpose-driven impact.

Brief:

We set out to create a shared experience that becomes an enduring touchstone that informs, delights and surprises employees. We purposed to create a Codebook that would tell Microsoft’s end-to-end story in a way that invited employees to see it as their story.

Objectives:

An enduring resources for employees that articulates our mission-to-mindset model

A boundary-pushing and immersive experience that is as visually stunning as it is informative—and accessible to all.

Budget:

$450k

Scale:

Microsoft Codebook is available to all Microsoft employees globally in six languages. It is also incorporated in global employee orientation, manager and executive training.

Idea

Microsoft is moving from a ‘house of brands’ (multiple products with individual identities and brands) to a branded house (a single brand that ties all products together.) This is as true for our internal creative as it is externally. We knew Microsoft Codebook wasn’t going to look, sound move lie anything else we’d created; we leveraged Microsoft’s core brand essence to create an experience that felt both entirely new and yet part of the brand family.

Execution

The design connects the multifaceted components of Microsoft's culture and shows how they fit together organically. Each section has its own color and shape story, but as you move from one to the next, there's a seamless flow.

Writing your name in the journal to begin the experience gives a sense of ownership and signifies the culture is lived out by each individual.

The motion is fluid and dynamic. You control the speed, feel connected to the content, and wander into different interactions to explore along the way. Visual themes of micro to macro and ideas that come full circle inspire engagement.

A custom score and sound design provide an ambient atmosphere that matches each scene.

The experience is available in six languages that can be toggled any time. We worked across teams to drive innovative hosting, security, and unprecedented accessibility solutions to create a one-of-a-kind immersive experience.

Outcome

At Microsoft we believe our employees are our greatest advocates. Employees today seek to work for companies that align with their values, and where they feel they can have a sense of purpose and impact.

Everything we do around mission and culture must be true to our values. There is an added pressure when what you are creating has never been done before. We expect our engineers to ‘look under the hood’ and check our code; our accessibility and security experts will hold us to account; and our global employee base will not be shy about telling us what we got wrong, or who we excluded.

Microsoft Code received 98% positive sentiment, became Microsoft’s standard for immersive accessibility, has already become core learning for new employees, Managers, and Executive training,

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