Microsoft Makes Peace With Apple in a Holiday Stunt That’s Surprisingly Sweet

Harmony on 5th Avenue

Having weathered plenty of Microsoft attacks over the years—including the well-known Windows Phone spots that mercilessly mocked Siri—Apple might have had reason to feel skeptical, perhaps even hostile, when it saw dozens of Microsoft employees approaching its 5th Avenue store in New York City back on Nov. 16. 

But Microsoft, it turns out, was coming in peace—to film a holiday spot about overcoming acrimony and embracing harmony and togetherness. 

Check out the spot that was just released from the footage taken that day:

The campaign, from m:united//McCann, started out as a way for Microsoft to celebrate its own presence on 5th Avenue—it opened its own flagship store there in October. And with the holidays approaching, the company clearly felt like ingratiating itself by being a good neighbor, particularly to its daunting tech competitor just to the north.

The company held auditions around the country to find Microsoft employees for its chorus, and also invited members of a Harlem youth choir to join. Together, they sang Jill Jackson Miller's song "Let There Be Peace On Earth." And as you can in the closing frames of the video, the Apple employees were clearly touched by the performance. 

"It was a fitting welcome to the neighborhood by Apple and a warm celebration to begin the holiday season," m:united said in an email. And indeed, with so much violence and animosity in the news lately, this spot feels surprisingly relevant—a small gesture of peace by corporations that usually prefer relentless fighting. 

Joel Simon Music arranged the song. Doug Katsaros was the musical director and conductor of the choir. Tool of North America's Erich Joiner was the director.

Microsoft Team:
Kathleen Hall, CVP Global Advertising
Kate Murphy, Senior Director Marketing Communications
Deana Singleton, GM, Global Advertising
Carol Hutchinson, Director – Global Marketing
Erin Friedman, Director – Global Advertising
Jenny Leahy, Group Marketing Manager
Ron Schott, Senior Marketing Communications Manager

Director Team: Tool of North America
Erich Joiner, Director
Oliver Fuselier, Managing Director – live action/EP
Lori Stonebraker, Executive Producer
Lindsay Skutch, Line Producer

Music Team: JSM Music
Joel Simon, Music Director
Doug Katsaros, Composer/choir director

Editorial Team: Rock Paper Scissors
Eve Kornblum, Executive Producer
Charlyn Derrick, Post Producer
Damion Clayton, Editor

Agency team: m:united//McCann
Sean Bryan and Tom Murphy, Co-Chief Creative Officers
David Banta, Executive Creative Director
Lew Willig, Executive Creative Director
Roberto Baibich, Creative Director, Art
David Cliff, Director of Creative Technology
Nickie Thongton, Art Director
Brett Barnett, Copywriter
Chauncey Hollingsworth, Senior Copywriter
Christina Ta, Senior Art Director
Elina Rudkovskaya, Jr Copywriter
Scott Barrows, Jr Copywriter
Joo Kong, Jr Art Director
Aaron Kovan, Director of Integrated Production
Carolyn Johnson, Executive Producer
Mel Senecal, Producer
Monique Fitzpatrick, Junior Producer
Rick Segal, Interactive Producer
Eric Johnson, Executive Music Producer
Eldad Heilweil, Strategy Director
Ryan Duffy, Senior Digital Strategist
Kevin Nelson, Managing Director
Tina Galley, Group Account Director
Darla Price, Group Account Director
Philip Chan, Global Implementation Director
Anderson Diaz, Group Implementation Director
Stella Warkman, Project Management Director
Sarah Keiber, Group Account Director
Courtney LeBlanc, Account Supervisor

Audio Post: Sonic Union
Mix Engineer: Steve Rosen
Studio Director: Justine Cortale