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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Xbox One Innovation Guy

Entered in Influencer & Celebrity Campaign, Humor, Video, Games


To drive awareness for Xbox One's newest features and most recent innovations- including backward compatibility, game streaming to Windows 10 PC and the new Xbox One Experience – Xbox released an integrated campaign with a unique brand of dry humor starring actor Martin Starr from the show Silicon Valley, as Innovation Guy.

Strategy and Execution

With his history of playing authentic, jack-of-many-tech-trades characters, Martin Starr was a natural for the role of a know-it-all programmer, taking credit for all the newest Xbox One features. With the launch of a first minute-long video released on YouTube in November, Martin Starr, took full credit for all that make Xbox One the fastest, most social Xbox experience ever.

Accompanying the video and in the same brand of dry humor, Xbox tweeted 10 personalized videos featuring Martin Starr to twitter users who had shared interest in backward compatibility and exclusive Xbox games. Xbox wanted to use these short clips as a way to communicate personally with fans through addressing their love of games like Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, and Fallout 3 in a full- blown Martin Starr takeover of the channel.

Momentum was growing. But Martin wasn't able to take full credit for the Xbox One innovations without some carefully orchestrated backlash. Inevitably, two days later, Xbox released a second video on YouTube where Martin sat down with two of Microsoft's actual engineers to sort out who really created these innovations. Microsoft engineers Bill Stillwell and Tobi Zielinski confronted the actor, in a hilarious and equally awkward interview.


The first video went viral, reaching over 2.6 million views in less than 48 hours. The videos had 3.6 Million Total Impressions, and over 14.2k Total Interactions.


Video for Xbox One Innovation Guy

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Ayzenberg, Xbox


Entry Credits