If fictional characters were included in the Creativity 50, Master Chief—the protagonist of Microsoft's
Halo trilogy—would surely make the list, thanks largely to the efforts of Edwards and Duchon.
Formerly of TBWA/Chiat/Day, San Francisco, the pair migrated to McCann by the Bay to run the
Xbox account. Since then, they've set up their own unit with strategic partner Mike Harris, T.A.G.—
the letters don't stand for anything, they say, but are pronounced one by one: T-A-G—and added
Microsoft's Zune media player to their roster of clients. But 2007 belonged to the Chief as the
"Believe" campaign asked us to imagine how the hero would be remembered 500 years from now,
after he has saved the planet. The answer included a fictional Museum of Humanity and its centerpiece—
a 1200-square-foot commemorative diorama populated with 900 figurines embroiled in the
heat of battle. The museum appeared in commercials by Rupert Sanders and Simon McQuoid, but
the myth-making didn't end there. It spun into everything from postage stamps to murals to art exhibitions.
As Edwards jokes, they did everything but build a statue and get a national holiday named
after the Halo star. The result? Halo 3 grossed $170 million in its first weekend, topping both Harry
Potter and Spider-Man 3. Hail to the chief indeed.
Duchon, on the legend of Master Chief: "The idea was to look back on the greatest of heroes in
humanity—whether they're mythical or real—and see how those stories have been told and how
they've come to life.We went way back to Beowulf and King Arthur to see how legends have been created.
Master Chief is a human and we needed to bring some of those qualities to him and find an
emotional connection for people to latch onto."