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Make Believe Happen

Make Believe Happen | Microsoft | Wasserman
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Industry: Internet sites & Services
Style: Minimalism
Why is this work relevant for Entertainment Lions for Sport?

Make Believe Happen is the latest partnership campaign promoting Microsoft’s partnership with the NFL, featuring notable NFL players working hard to bring their passions and side hustles to life with the help of Microsoft technology. The campaign was actually a collection of three sub-campaigns highlighting the players’ interests across music, style, and entertainment.

Describe the creative idea

Usually when brands partner with athletes, the creative isn’t very, well, creative. We wanted to push past the obvious “athlete working hard in their sport to achieve greatness with the help of tech” angle, opting instead to showcase athletes pursuing their off-the-field passions and interests. From photography to fashion, we illustrated how Microsoft Surface can help anyone, be they a Pro Bowler or hip-hop hobbyist, set goals, achieve their dreams, and Make Believe Happen.

Describe the strategy

Being great at football was only the beginning of the Make Believe Happen story. It was important to align with athletes that were notable for their hard work on Sundays, but also for their dedication to their craft outside of their sport. Doing so underscored the notion that, with the right technology and focus, anyone can achieve their goals. We partnered with Melvin Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Larry Fitzgerald, Todd Gurley, Cole Beasley and Chad Thomas and worked with them in the same way we would work with social influencers, connecting with their devoted football fanbase, while also exposing casual fans to the players’ various passions and side hustles. In the end, Microsoft Surface enjoyed highly targeted reach to NFL fans, while the players enjoyed a spotlight that illuminated them as people instead of professional athletes.

Describe the execution

The campaign kicked off with an anthem film featuring Melvin Ingram, Alvin Kamara, and Larry Fitzgerald, where we juxtaposed their passions in music, style and art with a hip-hop version of Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”—the perfect embodiment of Make Believe Happen. We extended the campaign with NFL players Cole Beasley and Chad Thomas who recorded their own hip-hop tracks inspired by “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” and uploaded them to Soundcloud and Spotify, giving fans a new way to experience the campaign. Next, we created Make Style Happen featuring Todd Gurley and the DialStyle app, an online experience that turned keywords into original apparel designs. The campaign culminated at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, with a week-long celebration of music, art and entertainment, featuring interactive Microsoft Surface demo stations, a fashion show, concert, and even a sneak peek of Netflix’s original series, The Umbrella Academy..

Describe the outcome

Make Believe Happen put up some serious numbers. By the end of the NFL season, the multi-faceted campaign delivered results across multiple channels, with 2.1 billion earned media reach, 15.1 million video views, 2.6 million digital/social engagements, and 157.6 million social impressions.
Production Company:
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Entertainment Lions for Sport
Influencer & Co-creation
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