Kevin Amter

Microsoft Xbox

The $500 Millon launch of the revolutionary gaming platform Xbox was in disarray at McCann. They had spent six months trying to sell a campaign to no avail. It was the first video game console offered by an American company after the Atari Jaguar stopped sales in 1996 and was competing with Sony's PlayStation 2, Sega's Dreamcast, and the Nintendo GameCube. The pressure was staggering and Microsoft's marketing department didn't understand their new target, "gamers."


McCann Worldwide




Group Creative Director
Art Director

Defining the brand

They hated the name Xbox, which was coined for the four engineers from Microsoft's DirectX team. During focus groups, Xbox was tested to demonstrate how unpopular the name would be. However, consumer testing revealed that gamers preferred it by far over the other suggested names and "Xbox" became the product name.

The fun part

As Group Creative Director's Josh Miller (CW) and I took over five teams at McCann, NY. I sent the teams home, to get some sleep and enjoy a weekend as they hadn't had one in months. The idea of using the iconic JDK designed Xbox logo (green orb) to speak philosophically to gamers came from my deep gaming experience. "The Xbox was built by gamers, for gamers, so we understand that all of our advertising, promotions, and events need to speak to gamers in a language they respect, and most important, in a voice that conveys the intense and exciting gameplay experience that only can be found on the Xbox," said John O'Rourke, director of sales and marketing for Xbox at Microsoft. Xbox was officially unveiled to the public by Bill Gates and professional wrestler The Rock at CES 2001 in Las Vegas. It was a massive success, selling 1.53 million units in just three months, higher than its successor Xbox 360, as well as the GameCube, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and even the PlayStation 2. Xbox has sold 24 million units worldwide. Following the launch I was inteviewed by New York Times writer Warren St John for the article "With Games Of Havoc Men Will Be Boys." I am also a Beta tester for UbiSoft on Tom Clancy Rainbow 6 Siege, Bungie on Destiny and Microsoft Studios on Forza Motorsport 6.


More projects

Based in New York

Happy To Travel

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(347) 460-6112

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