In a partnership with Xbox, we've been elevating diverse voices and celebrating communities in the vibrant world of gaming. Our work in 2023 wasn't just a project; it was a journey rooted in our culture forward strategic insights that led us to collaborate with a multitude of communities around the world, showcasing their stories and weaving them into the larger gaming story.
Palette Group was tasked to support Microsoft in celebrating gaming as a medium for inclusive storytelling. By leveraging its most iconic and global assets: The Xbox Sphere, profile screens and various digital properties – we brought a multitude of stories to millions of gamers globally. Each re-imaged creation was shared alongside a variety of actions made by Xbox to drive inclusion in gaming – be it through donations, partnerships, and many other activities.
We partnered with 11 creatives from around the globe and designed fourteen community moments. Each was commissioned to re-imagine the brand's iconic symbol through the lens of a moment and their connection to it. Their words and the visuals speak for themselves…
A Canvas of Cultural Narratives
Our collaboration spanned from Black History Month to International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Team Xbox defined a message for each moment, and we brought together artists who made it their own and infused their unique perspectives and cultural richness into each moment.
Clif Wilson shares, "My designs focused on unity and exploration within the Black community, reflecting our collective struggle and hope." This sentiment of growth and exploration resonated with Tacha Pradappet for Women's History Month, as she expressed, "Growth is a journey into womanhood, into softness and hardness, and into seeing beauty in the world." Gica Tam, capturing the essence of Earth Day, highlights, "My work celebrates the adventures awaiting us in the natural and gaming worlds, emphasizing our role in connecting with and protecting our planet."
Reflecting on the year’s collaboration, Charles Johnson, our Senior Art Director, shared, "This year's work on Xbox campaigns has been an enlightening journey of discovery, learning, and artistic collaboration. Working with a diverse group of artists brought unique perspectives and styles to our projects. It was exhilarating to see their artwork come to life on Xbox's social platforms and be shared globally. The work during Pride Month was particularly impactful, deepening my understanding and appreciation of the LGBTQIA+ community. Exploring Black History Month through a fresh lens was a profound experience, inspiring me to delve deeper into my own heritage and its visual representation."
Each month blossomed with the introduction of a new artist, each given the creative freedom to express their unique story fully.
Ari Liloan, in celebration of Pride Month, unveiled an artwork that was more than a visual treat – it was a bold statement. "My piece," Ari notes, "is an unraveling knot of ribbons, a vibrant celebration of the unapologetic diversity within the LGBTQIA+ community. It's my ode to the beauty of being true to oneself, without boundaries or apologies."
Kaylene J. Big Knife, representing the spirit of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, brought forth a creation deeply rooted in her heritage. "My artwork," she shares, "is an echo of my upbringing and Indigenous ways of knowing. It's a vibrant reminder that Indigenous peoples are still here, weaving stories of vibrancy, humor, and resilience. Every stroke of my brush is a testament to our enduring presence and rich cultural tapestry."
These artists, each in their unique way, utilized the creative space we provided to weave their narratives – narratives that were unbound, expressive, and profoundly impactful.
Our approach to this project was deeply rooted in our strategic insight of being 'culture forward.' It wasn't just about the work we did together; it was about the connections we fostered, the shared values we nurtured, and the cultural narratives we celebrated. We strived to create a space where every voice was heard, and every story was valued.
“It's been such an amazing ride collaborating with Team Xbox for a year and a half now! The harmony between our values has been incredibly enriching and empowering. The purpose-driven efforts across diverse cultures and communities aim to bring awareness, ensuring their stories and importance are not just seen but celebrated. This collaboration is a shared commitment to making a meaningful impact and driving inclusivity. Working with artists globally has been not only refreshing but also profoundly inspiring” - Steffi Behringer, Executive Producer, Partner, Palette Group.
As the year progresses, Palette Group and Microsoft continue to push the boundaries of storytelling.
“We’re honored to collaborate with and empower talented creatives through our partnership with the Palette Group. Over the span of the past year, it’s been great to witness how these artists have boldly translated their personal or cultural identities and love for gaming into a growing collection of vibrant, story-rich collection of reimagined Xbox Spheres in recognition of the diversity of the gaming community” - Jenn Panattoni, Head of Social Impact at Xbox.
This project is a reminder that most beautiful and wildly free creations are coming from real humans with real voices, with lived experiences, and real perspectives. Some of the best creations come from people getting out of the way and enabling the right voice to be heard. The next year’s creatives have already begun rolling out. To stay tuned to the next digital takeover of the Xbox brand or follow us on instagram.
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