Microsoft's holiday ad this year sees its protagonist experience a range of its offerings, from the Teams platform to Minecraft, Microsoft Flight Simulator and XBox games. However, the twist is, he isn't human, but a dog.
The spot, from McCann New York, first sees the canine hero trying to connect with the humans in his life, but they're all busy with their devices during lockdown, either gaming or on work video calls. What's more, he's pining for his buddy next door, from whom he's presumably being forced to social distance (animals can get COVID too, you know.)
The dog then falls asleep and in his dreams, he's flying through the skies on the simulator, being part of a doggie world in Minecraft, infiltrating Halo and having a very barky Teams meeting. The ad, directed by Biscuit's Noam Murro, ends with the message "Find your joy."
As part of the campaign, Microsoft actually built the doggie world in Minecraft. The team at Blockworks has released "Dogtopia" as a free download available from Minecraft Marketplace and for Java. In it, you can run through a colorful bone-shaped forest where bacon grows on trees, ride in doggie hot air balloons, pee on a fire hydrant fountain and visit a canine Mount Rushmore.
Microsoft aims for the spot to remind people that there are still many ways we can be together this holiday. "This year more the ever, we felt that it was important to give people a little lift, to remind them that while we are facing a lot of challenges, there are many ways we can connect, be productive and enjoy the time we have at home,” commented Kathleen Hall, VP of brand, advertising and research.