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.

CREDITS

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

Production:

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

Strategy:

Eldad Heilweil, Strategy Director

Ryan Duffy, Senior Digital Strategist

Account:

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