art of harmony

Microsoft Shoots Art of Harmony Ad at Parlay Studios

01.12.2017 Studio News

Microsoft’s 2016 holiday advertisement, “The Art of Harmony” showcases the triumphs of ordinary, inspiring individuals in the face of a difficult year. Weaving together stories of seven ordinary people as they come together to produce a single piece of art, the ad celebrates hope and unity over social obstacles. Promoting the Microsoft Surface Studio, the commercial deftly portrays the connectivity that is achievable thanks to progressions in digital technology while underscoring the importance of social cohesiveness.



The Inspiration

For many, 2016 was a divisive year. The goal of this ad and its featured subjects is to spread a “vision of hope, peace and beauty” despite conflicting viewpoints and the provoking events that have challenged our nation and the world.

Participants in the commercial include many who have been in the public eye fighting for social justice. The young Zlanna Oliphant, who called for peace and understanding following the police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, is joined by transgender activist Jazz Jennings and poet Mona Haydar, who is well known for working to establish dialogues between Muslim and other communities. Other inspiring figures are involved as well. Their stories are told through snippets of dialog and united with the joint effort to create a large work of art using Microsoft products.

In a press release discussing the ad, Microsoft noted that “This year has been challenging for many and much of what we hear in the news can be negative. Microsoft wanted to lift people up and remind them that ordinary people can make a difference. The message focuses on the spirit of the holidays, people coming together and celebrating what is good and right with the world—what unites us, instead of what divides us.”



Production and Release

Creative was led by M:Unitied/McCann New York with director Jake Scott and RSA Films helming production. The ad was shot in the Glass Gallery at Parlay Studios over a period of four days from November 8 – November 12, 2015. We also provided essential equipment to keep production running without a hitch.

“The Art of Harmony” was released as a 60-second commercial on major networks including NBC, ABC and Fox. A 90-second version is available online, promoted through Facebook and YouTube as part of Microsoft’s “Spread Harmony” campaign.



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Author of the Article: Parlay Studios

Parlay Studios is a 50,000 sf. photography and digital media production campus serving leading creatives and brands from around the world. Our state-of-the-art photography and video production complex is home to a selection of versatile studios and environments.

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