Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller is the center of its Rudolph-reminiscent holiday ad

The 2018 spot by M:United/McCann puts a spin on the classic tale

Published On
Nov 19, 2018

Editor's Pick

Microsoft's latest holiday ad with m:united/McCann is a feel-good new spin on the tale of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

The spot—called "Reindeer Games"—features real-life nine-year-old video gamer Owen Sirmons, who has Escobar Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that makes it tough for him to use a traditional video game controller.

In the ad, his friends run through the neighborhood gathering others and shouting, "You've gotta see this," and "Owen's going to do it," as a rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" plays. The friends burst into his bedroom just as he is about to win a game using an Xbox Adaptive Controller.

The controller, designed primarily to meet the needs of gamers with limited mobility, was recently named one of Time Magazine's best inventions of 2018.

"The genesis of the ad was really rooted in the song and the story of Rudolph, where what looks like a difference or a challenge is really an opportunity waiting to be realized," said Kathleen Hall, corporate VP of brand, advertising and research at Microsoft. "The real power and magic of technology is its ability to bring us together and make us better, no matter what our differences."

The Redmond, Washington-based tech company also promoted inclusion and kindness in last year's holiday ad, which featured a girl on her laptop imagining a visit through outer space where she collects an assortment of oddly drawn creatures who need love and support, and had the tagline "Create a Better World."

In October, Microsoft posted a "record" first quarter as it showed steady growth in its gaming business.

The campaign will premiere on TV on NBC during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday.


Nov 19, 2018
Client :
Agency :
Corporate Vice President of Brand, Advertising and Research :
Kathleen Hall
GM, Global Advertising :
Deana Singleton
Director of Global Advertising :
Stacey Terrien
Director of Global Advertising, Social and Media Partnerships :
Jenny Leahy
Senior Advertising Manager :
Ron Schott
Senior Advertising Manager :
Dawn Novak
Advertising Manager :
Hannah Westing
Senior Manager Marketing Communications :
Veronica Mao
Chief Creative Officer :
Sean Bryan
EVP, Executive Creative Director :
Shayne Millington
EVP, Executive Creative Director :
David Banta
SVP, Group Creative Director :
Sherrod Melvin
Associate Creative Director :
Martha West
Associate Creative Director :
Will Montgomery
Senior Art Director :
Julie Koong
Senior Copywriter :
David Cappolino
Global Business Lead :
Kevin Nelson
EVP, Executive Account Director :
Tina Galley
SVP, Group Account Director :
Rosemary Calderone
Account Director :
Pat Six
Account Supervisor :
Alex Cho
Account Supervisor :
Kyle Ross
SVP, Head of Integrated Production :
Carolyn Johnson
Producer :
Rebecca Magner
SVP, Director of Project Management :
Stella Warkman
Project Manager :
Jessica Jacobson
Executive Vice President :
Danielle Korn
SVP, Executive Music Producer :
Eric Johnson
Music Business Manager :
Sam Belkin
Music Producer :
Dan Gross
EVP, Global Strategy Director :
Joanna Schwab
SVP, Group Strategy Director :
Eldad Heilweil
Production Company :
Hungry Man
Director :
Bryan Buckley
Managing Partner/Executive Producer :
Kevin Byrne
Producer/Director of Sales :
Dan Duffy
Executive Producer :
Mino Jarjoura
Producer :
Matt Lefebvre
Editorial :
Rock Paper Scissors
Editor :
Damion Clayton
Assistant :
Michael Shugarman
Executive Producer :
Eve Kornblum
Producer :
Jenny Greenfield
Post/VFX :
The Mill
Executive Producer :
Anastasia Von Rahl
Senior VFX Producer :
Michael Theurer
Production Coordinator :
Ariana Govan
Shoot Supervisor :
Tara DeMarco
Shoot Supervisor :
Jason Monroe
Chief Creative Officer :
Phil Crowe
2D Lead Artist :
Daniel Thuresson
2D Artist :
Evan Langley
2D Artist :
Greg VanZyl
2D Artist :
Roxy Zuckerman
2D Artist :
Tim Crabtree
2D Artist :
Stephen Paragone
3D Artist :
Chris Storniolo
3D Artist :
Phil Mayer
3D Artist :
Michael Lori
3D Artist :
Danny Garcia
3D Artist :
Abhishek Kumar
3D Artist :
Ayush Bajoria
3D Artist :
Fazal Khan
3D Artist :
Ganesh Lamkhade
3D Artist :
Giri Prasath S
3D Artist :
Karthik Viswanathan
3D Artist :
Raj Kumar M
3D Artist :
Rajan Ramakrishna
3D Artist :
Rijo R
3D Artist :
Sathyaraj A
3D Artist :
Spandana Battula
3D Artist :
Sunil MM
3D Artist :
Tarun Kemtur
Matte Painting :
Gillian George
Matte Painting :
Andy Wheater
Matte Painting :
Itai Muller
Colorist :
Adam Scott
Executive Producer, Color :
Linda Jackson
Color Producer :
Liza Kerlin
Color Producer :
Diane Valera
Production Coordinator, Color :
Jessica Amburgey
Color Assist :
Gemma Parr
Color Assist :
Logan Highlen
Color Assist :
Zack Wilpon
Music :
JSM Music
CCO/Co-Composer :
Joel Simon
Co-Composer :
Nathaniel Morgan
Co-Composer :
Seamus Kilmartin
Executive Producer :
Jeff Fiorello
Producer :
Norm Felker
Producer :
Andrew Manning
Audio/Post :
Sonic Union
Sound Designer/Mix Engineer :
Michael Marinelli
Producer :
Patrick Sullivan

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