Erica Flores

Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad is all about …

The Seattle Seahawks may not be in the Super Bowl this year, but Microsoft will return after a four-year hiatus. The software giant is focusing on its Xbox Adaptive Controller this year, and the commercial includes the many ways this unique controller is used. Designed for gamers with disabilities, the controller has two large programmable buttons and 19 sockets that can be connected to various accessories to make Xbox and PC games much more accessible for multiplayer. Even Microsoft’s packaging for the driver is designed to be as accessible as possible.

Microsoft’s two-minute slot tells the stories of various young players with disabilities and how the adaptive controller levels the playing field in Xbox games. It’s part of Microsoft’s “empowering” ad series, and it continues the same emotional message that was unveiled at the Super Bowl in 2014. It’s less about selling the Xbox Adaptive Controller to new audiences, and more about a method of extraction in the hearts to prove that Microsoft is not just a giant corporation.

Microsoft continues to focus on games.

Microsoft will have spent millions of dollars to secure this Super Bowl ad, as NBC typically asks for about $ 4.5 million for 30 seconds. It comes a day after Microsoft reported its biggest quarter of gaming revenue and some solid Xbox Live numbers. While many analysts have questioned whether Microsoft will continue to be involved in games and Xbox, products like the Xbox Adaptive Controller show that the company is committed.

Microsoft, in general, has also taken a more empathetic role in technology since its first Super Bowl ad, which aired just days before Satya Nadella was named CEO. Nadella spoke about her own family life in 2017, revealing that her oldest son was born with severe disabilities. Microsoft has been showcasing some of the work it does toward accessibility in recent years, including an iPhone app for the blind, Office enhancements for people with dyslexia, and even physical locks to help visually impaired children learn how to code.