In partnership with The Invictus Games Foundation and agency McCann, Microsoft used the power of its own technologies to create a new way for veterans can take part in the 2022 Invictus Games – not through the sport, but through music.
The US tech giant’s team recognised that many veterans were unable to take part in the sporting programme and so instead invited a group of wounded, injured and sick past and present service personnel to help the company create an anthem to be played at every medal ceremony at this year’s Games.
Working in collaboration with Microsoft’s ‘Hands-Free Technology Lab’ in San Francisco, the ‘Anthem For All’ initiative used bespoke technology to enable veterans to help compose the inclusive track and also to play instruments that they would otherwise be unable to use and to put together an orchestra played by those with limited hand mobility or eye movement.
The resulting anthem was amplified both by Microsoft and by the Invictus Games both at the 2022 event – which was held in The Hague between 16 and 22 April – and through a digital-first campaign led by a spearhead spot running across online and social channels.
“Microsoft believes in empowering every person on the planet to do more and be more with the help of technology,” said Microsoft Director of Commercial Marketing Sally Elliott. “Few things demonstrate that philosophy more than this project. It’s been an honor working with a like-minded partner like The Invictus Games Foundation to make this a reality.”
“It’s only fitting that such an inclusive, inspirational organization as The Invictus Games gets an anthem that lives and breathes those values,” added McCann London Executive Creative Director Sanjiv Mistry. “To help make this happen, it needed not just cutting-edge tech, but some incredible people at the heart of it. From the moment Karl and Emma came forward, they’ve shown nothing but bravery, openness and enthusiasm to be involved in such a landmark creation.”
Later in 2022 the tech behemoth will launch a website experience offering a deeper dive into how Microsoft accessible technologies helped the veterans recapture their love for music after trauma took it away from them. This will include an additional opportunity for users to try out the technologies and make music of their own.