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From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Halo Theme Midi Controller

Winner in Sound


Halo is a beloved first-person shooter franchise and one that has remained a staple for Xbox fans since the initial release in 2001. For over two decades, Halo has engrained itself into pop culture (in gaming and beyond) and remained relevant by consistently expanding the boundaries of the gameplay experience and listening to its fanbase. In the year 2022, core Halo fans remain passionate, and the franchise has expanded to welcome new players into the fold. Our goal was to celebrate with all of these fans in a new and innovative way, and one that made it clear we understand their fandom - because we’re fans too!

Strategy and Execution

Whether you’re a traditional console player, getting competitive with Halo on PC, or exploring the universe by gaming on cloud – you know the Halo theme song. The iconic theme transcends gaming and is something all of our audiences are familiar with. So, we made a musical instrument out of an Xbox controller and created a tribute to the franchise; one that felt organic on social and aligned with something the community themselves would make. We remapped the controller buttons to work with a digital audio workstation so that we could play sounds, change octaves and play drums – all at the same time and in a way that actually did this iconic theme song justice. Our approach was strategically lo-fi so it felt right at home on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels while our music recreation was innovative and high quality to inspire sharing, conversation, and genuine celebration of Halo and the ingenuity of the Xbox community.


With over 3M views, 300k likes, and 2,500 comments, this video was massively successful. Dropping shortly after Season 2 in Halo Infinite’s GaaS lifecycle, it was igniting conversation, driving organic advocacy, and ultimately pushing Halo top of mind for lapsed players who were happy to revisit what they love about this storied franchise.  Old fans were nostalgically reminded of their longstanding love, and a new generation of potential fans were invited to share in the conversation with music-led content across their favorite social platforms.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

ayzenberg, Xbox