This year, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is honoring Microsoft as Creative Marketer of the Year. The brand has collected dozens of accolades at the festival over more than two decades, starting with its first win in the Cyber category in 1998, and most recently, Grand Prix and Titanium honors in 2019 for its “Changing the Game” Xbox Adaptive Controller push that included product, an e-sports tournament and Super Bowl advertising. (And industry leaders predict it will take more this year.)
Reflecting on how Microsoft has consistently delivered breakthrough ideas in its marketing, Chief Brand Officer Kathleen Hall told Ad Age, “We are constantly looking for uncovered stories and gems that represent our values and truths. It’s not always the biggest business product that best represents your stories and values. It’s sometimes these outlying, seemingly small, activities and initiatives.”
That’s evident in the range of the brand’s celebrated ads and marketing ideas over the years, which has spanned Xbox video game titles, health-driven technologies, out-of-the-box design moves and more. Here, we take a look back at some of the brand’s biggest winners.