McCann’s ‘Reindeer Games’ Recognized With Two Honors at the 2019 IPG Inclusion Awards

m:united//McCann’s “Reindeer Games” for Microsoft received two honors at the 2019 IPG Inclusion Awards – in the Most Effective Targeted Campaign category and in the new Unstereotyped Creative Award category.

The Unstereotyped Creative Award was established in support of IPG’s work with The UN Women’s Unstereotype Alliance. Michael Roth is Vice-Chair of the Alliance, which seeks to eradicate harmful stereotypes in media and advertising content. The Unstereotyped Creative Award recognizes breakthrough, intentional creative work that counters biased social norms and stereotypes. The Most Effective Targeted Campaign Award recognizes an agency that is intentionally inclusive in reaching a diverse customer target based on non-stereotypical insights and imagery.

Microsoft is a champion of accessibility and inclusion in tech. From inspiring young girls to stay in STEM, to developing technology to aid those with dyslexia as well as visual and audio impairment, accessibility and inclusion is a part of the brand’s core mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For the 2018 holidays, Microsoft launched “Reindeer Games” featuring a real-life gamer with Escobar Syndrome, nine-and-a-half-year-old Owen Sirmons. The cinematic spot captures the emotion and drama of that special time in childhood when achieving greatness in a video game makes you the neighborhood hero. Microsoft reimagines this classic gaming moment by shining a spotlight on the inspiring young gamer as he rises to the top of his game with a little help from his friends, and Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller, a new controller designed for gamers with limited mobility. The spot’s message of inclusion and empowerment is reinforced by the holiday song “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”— the classic story of triumph in the face of difference and adversity.

The campaign illustrates Microsoft’s mission to build accessible technology that levels the playing field and makes the world a more inclusive place. Because when everybody plays, we all win.

The campaign generated over 905 MM impressions across broadcast, digital, social and cinema channels. It received a very positive response and sparked a national conversation around inclusive technology, with press, gamers and the disability community, celebrating Microsoft’s commitment to creating accessible technology and the joy it spreads to all.

Initial press pickup included over 25 positive articles mentioning the campaign, ranging from Entertainment Weekly to GeekWire. International Microsoft teams leveraged the campaign’s content in over 20 global markets, including in-store. Social sentiment was overwhelmingly positive, with virtually no negative reactions at all, and hundreds of individuals shared their own emotional stories about the need for more accessibility in the world. Perception metrics showed that consumers further identified Microsoft as an innovative and empowering brand because of the work, contributing to a significant increase in those sentiments along with overall brand love.

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