Microsoft has struck a nerve over the past several years with Super Bowl ads that convey its mission and message around empowering individuals to achieve more. A new spot for Super Bowl LIV continues the trend for the tech giant.
The ad titled “Be the One” features Katie Sowers, an offensive assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers who is checking off a number of firsts while inspiring girls and women and anyone with a desire to lead. Sowers is the first woman to coach for the Niners, the first woman to coach in the NFL Playoffs, and on Sunday she will become the first woman to coach in the Super Bowl.
The 60-second ad, which was preceded by 30-second versions airing throughout January, shows Sowers using her Surface Pro 7 tablet as she runs players through drills. She talks about loving football as a kid and how the men she coaches now have been learning from women their entire lives — moms, grandmothers, teachers.
“We have all these assumptions about what women do in life and what men do,” Sowers says. “I’m not trying to be the best female coach. I’m trying to be the best coach. All it takes is one and then it opens the door for so many.”
This year’s ad benefits from the fact that Sowers and San Francisco actually reached the Super Bowl, where the Niners will face the Kansas City Chiefs.
In a profile on Sowers and her experience, Microsoft said, “Katie uses all the tools available to her, from her personal experience on the field to the technology she uses. ‘When I see a play I love, I will grab my Surface and write it down.’”
Microsoft’s ad campaign last year featured a 9-year-old gamer and his use of the Xbox Adaptive Controller.