Rufus joins a friend for play time through the Microsoft universe.

Headshot of Jess Zafarris

By Jess Zafarris

55 mins ago

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In Microsoft’s Heartwarming Holiday Ad, a Dog Finally Gets to Enjoy Halo, Minecraft and More

Microsoft introduced a charming dog character named Rufus, who yearns to play with his dog friend from across the street while his humans are busy gaming, video conferencing and more. So while Rufus sleeps, he dreams that he’s setting out on a grand digital adventure with his friend, soaring through the skies, playing fetch in Halo, swimming in Minecraft and video conferencing with his other canine pals. The spot aims to showcase the ways Microsoft’s products keep people connected in quarantine.

Watch the ad, and revisit the company’s 2019 holiday ad in which a girl converses with reindeer.

Need more wholesome holiday goodness? This Toyota ad celebrates togetherness and family with the story of a girl who has a simple Christmas wish.

How Satan Fell for 2020, Personification of the Year From Hell

Just one day after Satan and the personification of the year 2020 enjoyed their first apocalyptic dates to the tune of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” the couple returned for a When Harry Met Sally-esque interview about their successful relationship. In this latest ad, also for Match, they explain how they’ve dated others before, but none of them were anywhere close to dastardly enough.

Fall in love all over again: Watch the next chapter in the most iconic romance of the year.

How Discord Built a $7 Billion Platform—Without Ads

Not quite a social network and more than a chat service, Discord has been around for a while, but it hit its stride during the pandemic. It was founded in 2015 as what many have called “Slack for gamers,” but its many servers (basically chat rooms) are dedicated to just about everything including memes, anime, podcasts, sports, movies—and of course NSFW topics. As people sought out more virtual ways to connect, its user base has surged to 100 million monthly active users. Its privacy features also attracted far-right groups, though Discord has since taken steps to combat them.

Learn how Discord has evolved, and where advertisers can fit in. 

Warner Bros. Sends 2021 Film Slate Simultaneously to Theaters and HBO Max

Warner Bros. announced that it will release its entire 2021 theatrical slate of films—including the film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, and sequels such as Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad and Matrix 4—on HBO Max on the same days those films premiere in theaters. The movies will be available for a month on the streaming service in the U.S. before they revert to the usual theatrical-only schedule.

Entertainment stimulus: The company says it aims to support the struggling movie business by boosting hype around the films.

Agency News & Job Moves

  • Following a review that began this summer, Visa named Wieden+Kennedy and Publicis Groupe its global creative agencies of record. 
  • Following the launch of a global customer experience network, Liz Roche will take on the role of general manager, chief strategy officer for Havas helia CX.
  • MullenLowe has tapped Chris Denson, whose experience has spanned advertising, entertainment, technology, content creation and more, as the agency’s innovation director.

More of Today’s Top News & Highlights: