The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!
From the 4th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Changing the Game

Winner in Video, Games, Integrated Campaign

Finalist in Storytelling, Multi-Platform Campaign, Technology, Consumer Brand

Gold Honor in Accessibility

Silver Honor in Diversity & Inclusion

Entered in Youth & Family


The video game industry has long ignored players with limited mobility. As a result, gamers with limited mobility would either hack together hodgepodge tools and homemade controllers or had to spend a lot of money on a custom controller just to be able to play. For most, gaming was impossible. As the brand committed to empowering everyone to achieve more, Microsoft designed the first controller for gamers with limited mobility that enhances their gaming experience and empowers them to compete in new ways. We wanted to shine a light on how theXbox Adaptive Controller is empowering people with limited mobility to play on a level playing field with other gamers for the first time.  

Strategy and Execution

Our team sought to shine a light on the challenges that people with limited mobility face and, through the stories of real-life gamers, illustrate the power of accessible technology to level the playing field and help people achieve more. The campaign was designed to bring attention to the Adaptive Controller and raise awareness of the power of inclusive design to better the world, which is why the target audience included everyone, not just the 33 million American gamers living with disabilities. In our approach, we assembled a cast of real gamers with limited mobility, and their loved ones, and let their voices become the backbone of each element of the campaign. We launched a film about inclusion and empowerment, and made packaging, instruction manuals, and eSports gaming more inclusive too. 

The team spent four months visiting children with limited mobility and their parents in their homes across the U.S. We gave them Adaptive Controllers – let them open the packages, helped them set them up, stepped back and watched them as they played. We captured docu-style content highlighting the impact that this type of technology can have on people’s lives, and edited together the real stories of these children’s experiences with the product. We launched a long-form campaign video on social media platforms the Thursday before the game, in order to build momentum, and get the conversation going. Then the 60-second commercial launched during the Super Bowl. Our amplification involved social media influencers, including celebrities, the gaming community and gamers with limited mobility, and we saw the conversation take off across the Internet. After the game, the conversation grew with coverage on key morning shows and across major press outlets.


The “Changing the Game” campaign launched in social media on the Thursday before Super Bowl LIII. Paid digital support ran 1/31 through 2/8. The TV spot aired on February 3 in Super Bowl programming (fourth quarter) to nearly 100MM viewers, and on February 4 on CBS Morning News. The campaign received extensive press coverage over the following days with over 635 placements and coverage on key morning shows like Good Morning America, the Today Show and CBS This Morning. Social reach was unprecedented for Microsoft, garnering support from gamers, fans and celebrities. The Xbox Adaptive Controller leveled the playing field for 33 million gamers with disabilities. 

$35 million in Earned Media

246% increase in Social Voice 

#1 most effective Super Bowl ad

1.1 billion impressions

879% increase in #GamingForEveryone 

77% increase in conversation about inclusive gaming 

58% increase in conversation about inclusive design 

242% higher social share of voice


Video for Changing the Game

Entrant Company / Organization Name

McCann New York, Microsoft


Entry Credits