Microsoft Teams bring would-be Olympics travelers to Tokyo

Spots introduce the wonders of Japan to those forced to cancel their trips to the Olympics

Published On
Jul 22, 2021

Editor's Pick

All throughout the pandemic, Microsoft showcased how its Teams virtual meeting platform helped colleagues continue to collaborate in the new normal of lockdown. Now, in a new campaign set to run during the Olympics opening ceremony, the brand is helping would-be Tokyo travelers experience the wonders of the city.

See all of Ad Age's news coverage of the Tokyo Olympics here.


The effort, created out of McCann New York, gathers together individuals from around the world who were forced to cancel their flights and travel plans to Tokyo, and, with the help of five local guides, introduces them to famous landmarks and traditional experiences (Yoyogi Park, an ikebana lesson), as well as off-the-beaten-path experiences such as a cat cafe and an izakaya neighborhood pub. 

“When the world couldn’t go to Tokyo, Teams brought Tokyo to them,” reads copy on the ad. 

To create the campaign, McCann conducted two different casting searches, one for the visitors and another for the hosts. For visitors, the agency pinpointed people who had already made big plans to go to Tokyo for the Olympics.

“Many had purchased tickets and made reservations and the whole thing,” says McCann North America Co-CCO Sean Bryan. “We talked to them about what they had been looking forward to experiencing in Tokyo, and [about] what they had planned to do. It was bittersweet, and it also informed what we did with our hosts.”

For the latter, McCann looked for enthusiastic locals with insight on off-the-beaten-path experiences in the city. 


Microsoft, not an official Olympics sponsor,  is the latest big marketer to communicate how technology can bring the world to Tokyo under this year’s unusual circumstances. Samsung, which is an official partner of the Games, debuted a campaign from The Community showing how its various devices can immerse viewers in the games and bring Olympics athletes closer to their loved ones. 


Jul 22, 2021
Client :
Agency :
Corporate Vice President of Brand Advertising and Research :
Kathleen Hall
GM Global Advertising :
Carol Hutchinson
Director Global Advertising :
Stacey Terrien
Director Social and Media Partnerships :
Jenny Leahy
Director Global Advertising :
Steve Simmons
Senior Marketing Manager :
Veronica Mao
Senior Product Marketing Manager :
Dawn Novak
Senior Advertising Manager :
Hannah Westing
Co-Chief Creative Officer :
Sean Bryan
EVP Global Executive Creative Director :
Shayne Millington
EVP Global Executive Creative Director :
Piper Hickman
Creative Director :
Brad Soulas
Creative Director :
Kristine Salm
VP Creative Director :
Ferdinand Daniele
Associate Creative Director :
Nick Ciomperlik
Associate Creative Director :
Nimrat Brar
Junior Art Director :
Mikey Bready
Junior Copywriter :
Enoch Lui
Designer :
Yung Lee
Director of Creative Technology :
David Cliff
Creative Technologist :
Alicia Foor
Managing Director :
Kevin Nelson
EVP Global Business Leader :
Scot Beck
EVP Global Chief Marketing and Communications Officer :
Jeremy Miller
Director of Communications :
Victoria Park
SVP Group Account Director :
Socrates Papazoglou
Account Director :
Gabriella Dickens
Account Supervisor :
Maya Lobban
Account Executive :
Rachel Zambernardi
Assistant Account Executive :
Chanelle Wright
Senior Project Manager :
Lauren Kosche
Project Manager :
Justine DeFilippi
Chief Production Officer :
Nathy Aviram
SVP Executive Producer :
Cindi Blondell
SVP Executive Music Producer :
Eric Johnson “DJ Bunny Ears”
Music Producer :
Dan Gross
Business Manager Music :
Jamie Jou
VP Senior Interactive Producer :
Patty Visconti
Digital Producer :
Sean Flanigan
Senior Art Producer :
Kelly Ramsey
EVP Global Director of Strategy & Research :
Ash Farr
Senior Strategist :
Sydney Hausman
Strategist :
James Rooney
Business Manager :
David Halberstadt
VP Director Talent Payment :
Terry Marcello
Talent Payment Manager :
Rosemary Smith
Production Company :
Craft Studios
Head of Content :
Adam Hirsch
Senior Producer :
Zoe Katz Greene
Producer :
Amalia Bradstreet
Producer :
Francesco Soru
Teams Director :
Eric Perini
Technical Director :
Rob Perna
Business Affairs Manager :
Amy Santana
Production Company :
Twin Brains Films
Director :
Mackenzie Sheppard
Creative Producer :
Saka Matsushita
Executive Producer :
Janie Chartier
Assistant Director :
Ryohei Mizuno
Line Producer :
Akihiro Mochizuki
Ivan Kovac
B Cam Op :
Christopher Nicholls
Photographer :
Lukasz Palka
First Assistant :
Chica Suzuki
Editorial and Post Production :
Editor :
James Duffy
Editor :
Dan Aronin
Editor :
Andrew Manne
Assistant :
Ashley Cisneros
Assistant :
Tyler Pharos
Executive Producer :
Corina Dennison
Head of Production :
Laura Molinaro
Producer :
Alexandra Leal
Post Production :
Method Studios
Managing Director :
Jesse Kurnit
EP :
Graham Dunglinson
Flame Lead :
Mark Woit
Senior Producer :
Aiste Akelaityte
Production Coordinator :
Teresa Smith
Flame Artist :
Marc Godlfine
Flame Artist :
Hyonuk Yu
Flame Artist :
Colin Stackpole
Flame Artist :
Patrice Langue
Flame Artist :
Ryan Shields
Designer :
Nan Wei
Designer :
Keri Moller
Color :
Company 3
Colorist :
Tim Masick
Producer :
Kevin Breheny
Audio Post :
Sonic Union
Mix Engineer :
Michael Marinelli
Assistant Engineer :
Julian Fader
Head of Production :
Patrick Sullivan
CCO/CEO/Co-Composer :
Joel Simon
VP/Executive Producer :
Jeff Fiorello
Producer :
Norm Felker
Producer :
Andrew Manning
Producer :
Sharon Cha
Co-Composer :
Jason Krebs
Senior Vice President Executive Integrated Music Producer :
Eric David Johnson aka DJ Bunny Ears
Music Producer :
Colleen Dahlstrom
Jr. Music Producer :
Madison Rowe
Business Manager Music :
Jamie Jou

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