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Microsoft: The Collective Project

Using a movie superhero to give real life superheroes a global stage

At colleges and universities everywhere, there are students starting projects and founding collectives to make the world a better place. 

But how do we get people to care? 

The Collective Project brought the collaborative engine of Microsoft 365, the fame of celebrity, and the power of community together to rally communities around student causes. 

Click to go straight to the case study video with Robert Downey Jr.


Microsoft / Office & OneNote


Concept team


Art Direction



Meet the student heroes

We showed how Microsoft 365 and OneNote could help each group organize their communities into action.

Jeffrey's Library in Watts: #IGiveABook

Anyone around the country could donate a book simply by tweeting a title and using our campaign hashtag.

Neha's education organization for girls: One Good Deed

Students were invited to an event to learn about Neha's organization and spread goodness throughout the community.

Albert's bionic arm organization: High fives all around

Student events included a record-breaking attempt for the longest bionic high five chain, a "Handathon" for students to build mechanical hands for donation, and an invitation for 3D artists to contribute a design to the creation of an arm catalog.


Adding the Marvel magic

Enter Robert Downey Jr., who took a look at Albert's organization and was immediately willing to get involved. With a little help from Marvel, we set up a surprise meeting between him and a young boy named Alex with a partially developed right arm.


He presented Alex with his very own Iron Man arm, and their meeting would go viral in a matter of hours. 

With the help of OneNote and collaboration through activated communities, all 3 students received massive support for their respective causes. 

Including a 1000% increase in donations to Albert's charity Limbitless as a result of the campaign. Today, Limbitless has gotten involved with the Blue Man Group, is branching into fashion industry collaborations, and has support and requests for limbs pouring in from all over the world. 



The Robert Downey Jr. tweet was heard round the world, earning more than 2 billion global impressions and coverage on all major news networks. All without ad spend (and RDJ kindly donated his time too).

  • 75 million views

  • 2 Billion global impressions

  • Gold and Bronze Cannes Lions






Aaron Howe, Creative Director

Leif Allen, Associate Creative Director