Microsoft 2014 Super Bowl Commercial: Empowering

Publication Title
Publication/Creation Date
February 2 2014
Microsoft (creator)
Steve Gleason (contributor)
Persuasive Intent
[Video Description: Microsoft's 2014 Super Bowl commercial which features a montage of disabled people using various types of assistive technologies or prosthetics, such as former NFL player Steve Geason using eye tracking software to type, a young boy with two prosthetic legs walking an obstacle course and hitting a baseball, an older man using software to create digital art, a man in the military remotely watching his baby being born via a video call, a young woman hearing for the first time after having her cochlear implant turned on, and Steve Gleason again with his son sitting on his lap.

These images appear alongside text and computerized speech that says, "what is technology?", "what can it do?", "how far can we go?", "technology has the power to unite us", "technology has taken us places that we can only dream", "it gives hope to the hopeless", and "it has given voice to the voiceless"].

Bonnie Tucker analyzes this ad in her essay "Technocapitalist Disability Rhetoric", and asserts that the rhetoric used in the video "casts Microsoft as the hero in an ableist narrative of overcoming disability".  
HCI Platform
Location on Body
Arm, Ear, Eye, Leg
Marketing Keywords

Date archived
February 24 2018
Last edited
November 24 2020
How to cite this entry
Microsoft. (February 2 2014). "Microsoft 2014 Super Bowl Commercial: Empowering". Microsoft. Fabric of Digital Life.