20 years of Xbox: the history of the console through slogans

20 years of Xbox: the history of the console through slogans

20 years of Xbox

Just like the advertisements themselves, even the slogans can tell about specific phases of the evolution of a product. In this way we can thus reconstruct a sort of Xbox story through the slogans that have characterized the various advertising campaigns, noting how each of these involves a specific vision and enhances certain characteristics of the machine. We saw the most memorable Xbox advertisements yesterday and we continue this journey in the history of the Microsoft console, on the occasion of the celebrations for the twentieth anniversary, looking at a specific aspect of these promotional campaigns, namely the slogans and payoffs, which always cover in the advertising system of great importance.

Also in this case, it is possible that many of these elements are unknown to Italian users: promotional initiatives differ from country to country and, in general, Microsoft has never carried out advertising campaigns of great intensity in our area. Those who have followed video games for some time, however, will surely remember them. We are quite distant from the aggressive initiatives of the golden age of Nintendo's "Now you are playing with Power" to "Sega does What Nintendon't" of the rival, but the era we consider is different from the 80s and 90s. , in some ways more refined from a communicative point of view, especially as regards the most recent campaigns. The result is a less colorful way of promoting the console, but also more rooted in telling the specific characteristics of the machine.

Play more

A frame from the famous "Champagne" commercial, which also launched the slogan "play more" The communication linked to the first Xbox was still decidedly the daughter of the 90s, but Microsoft he also elaborated some very effective campaigns which have remained somewhat etched in the common imagination. Among these the famous "Champagne", which offered the incredible and even a little disturbing vision of a child literally "shot" from the mother's womb at a quick life in flight to the grave. The idea conveyed, intelligent but also a little daring in terms of impact, was explicitly explained by the final payoff of the commercial: "Life is short, play more", or "life is short, play more".

Reducing further, the synthesis of the concept became a sort of mantra often used by Microsoft in the period of the first Xbox: "Play more", a rather generic phrase, but which was suitable for practically any occasion and in particular to present a console that was a bit like the latest addition to the PS2 and Gamecube generation and therefore had to demonstrate something new. The console was indeed a technological leap forward, offering "something more" and a new chance to play.

It's good to play together

"It's good to play together" was the Xbox Live launch slogan Since the first Xbox, Microsoft has adopted slightly different communication strategies to push on peculiar characteristics of its videogame division, such as the launch of the Xbox Live platform. Already at the time you could see the beginning of that typical tendency of the companion to focus on services integrated with consoles, considering that Live was actually a characterizing element of the Xbox and one of the main evolutions made to the whole console landscape. Most of the commercials referring to games that had support for online ended with the slogan "It's good to play together".

Extremely simple but very effective sentence to show how online multiplayer, available for the first time with a simplicity never seen before on consoles (but also on PC), could substantially enrich the experience of any video game. The ease of use, the standard voice chat with the use of the included headset and the unified online system, appropriately shown in the advertisements in question, were all identifying characteristics of Xbox Live and therefore of the console itself.

Jump In

"Jump In" was one of Xbox's longest-running and best-of-breed phrases Xbox Live, the ability to play together and community building remain the dominant theme in generation Xbox promotional campaigns in generation, also crossing Xbox 360 and Xbox One. On the first of the two extras for the first time the "Jump In" tagline, which quickly became a famous way to identify Xbox, also thanks to the growing popularity of the console and its online service, further enriched with the arrival of Xbox 360 in particular. "Jump in", "join" or "immerse yourself": the phrase is a simple and impressive invitation, which also went well with the console's intent to attract users historically linked to other platforms.

Being also linked to a particularly rosy historical period for Xbox, which reached its maximum market penetration, "Jump In" probably remains one of the favorite slogans of console users, managing to be extremely simple and direct, as well as intrinsically inclusive. An invitation to play addressed to everyone and, therefore, also a positive message from a social point of view.

All in one, input one

Xbox One: "All in One" was one of the initial slogans, containing the concept and the very name of the console The communication linked to Xbox One is remembered for having been somewhat confused, but this is especially true for institutional events and for the statements of managers and executives of the time: the advertising and the promotional field have always remained very focused and effective, although the ideas conveyed were probably less in line with the expectations and desires of standard or hardcore players. Symbolic of this situation is also the slogan "All in one, input one", which was officially used in the first advertisements of the new console, signifying the new role of the console as an advanced multimedia center, the central point of the ideal living room according to Microsoft.

We know how Don Mattrick's vision did not properly meet the favor of the videogame public (to put it mildly), therefore even the advertising communication of the time was seen in a not exactly positive way by this, always focusing on the possibilities offered by global and all-encompassing entertainment. "All in one, a single input" perfectly represented that concept: a console that acted as a multimedia center to which other devices could also be connected, thus offering a single point of access and distribution of entertainment content.

Jump Ahead

Already a couple of years after the launch of Xbox One, Microsoft began to carry out a general overhaul of the project in order to try to make up for lost ground, given the limited success of the original vision. Leaving aside the insistence on TV, video games returned to the center of attention and the "Jump Ahead" commercial of E3 2015 is symbolic of this trend reversal.

The characterizing slogan, in this case, has the dual purpose of emphasizing the leap generation, but also of recovering the glorious tradition of Xbox, going to resume the famous "Jump In" of the golden times, moreover used continuously between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One generations.

The leap in this case is "forward", inviting you to jump into the new experiences arriving in that period rather full of new releases, but also signifying a step forward on the technological front and the evolution of the console. The tone has changed and is now clearly leaning towards video games, with the promotional campaign symbolizing the change of course of the Xbox division under the leadership of Phil Spencer, which culminated in the launch of One X and the next generation.

Discover your next favorite game

Xbox Game Pass is always tied to the slogan "Discover your next favorite game" Not really tied to a promotional campaign for consoles, but the characteristic Xbox Game Pass slogan could not be left out of the picture, given the importance that the service covers today within the Xbox environment. "Discover your next favorite game", or "discover your next favorite game" sums up the spirit of the subscription service, which in addition to offering access to well-known and expected games also puts in the hands of users a huge catalog to discover , with the possibility of finding so new games to fall in love with that perhaps they would not have known each other otherwise.

The slogan in question is also linked to a particular situation that occurred recently: strangely, Sony used the exact same phrase to advertise PlayStation Now, which is the competing service to Xbox Game Pass but by the Japanese company. The coincidence, if that was the case, is truly incredible, but Microsoft obviously did not like it very much, which asserted the registered rights on the phrase used in the promotional context, forcing the competitor to remove the slogan in question.

Power your dreams

Xbox Series X and Series S have arrived with their slogan "Power your Dreams", also present inside the box We finally arrive at the current generation, that of Xbox Series X | S, which has adopted the slogan "Power your dreams" as its main tagline for advertising and miscellaneous merchandising. Also spread by the launch advertising campaign "Us dreamers", the phrase is particular because it contains a sort of pun with multiple meanings. In Italian it is difficult to render, but it could be translated as a "Feed your dreams", in the sense of giving power to these or even turning them on, according to the double meaning that "power" can have in English and therefore playing on the possibility to give life to the dreams that on the concept of power that recurs in the official marketing of Microsoft on consoles.

It is an evolution of the communication line adopted starting from Xbox One X, but made more stately, in a some sense, by disconnecting from the material questions of hardware capabilities - although the use of certain terminologies clearly recalls them - to embrace a more extended and abstract concept. Even the images used for the commercial seem more unrelated to specific games, simply announcing the start of a new generation of possibilities and dreams.

When Everybody Plays, We all Win

" When everybody plays, we all win "is the beautiful message that accompanies the Xbox Adaptive Controller and its concept. One of the accessories with the most interesting developments that have been seen in recent years is the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which allows people with disabilities of various types of being able to use video games through a modular and customizable input system according to needs, also applicable to PCs and other consoles. This praiseworthy drive towards accessibility and overcoming barriers is well summarized by the slogan "When Everybody Plays, We all Win", or "when everyone plays, we all win", also conveyed by an advertisement of considerable emotional impact, which has received great attention having also been transmitted during the classic Super Bowl interval.

With this sentence, Microsoft wants to affirm the desire to spread the video game to everyone, regardless of the different situations in which users find themselves, trying to break down the access barriers that normally prevent the correct use of standard input systems. The launch of the Xbox Adaptive Controller was also followed by various themed initiatives, confirming the company's commitment in this area on which there is obviously still a lot to do, hoping that this will continue in the future.

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