I’m a sucker for emotional ads, songs, and storylines. I never thought I’d see the day when a Microsoft ad would actually make me tear up, but today is that day.

I didn’t go all out to catch all the much awaited Super Bowl ads, but after hearing about the reactions of people to Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad, titled Empowering, I just had to watch it.

It stars Steve Gleason, former pro football player who is living with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and is more commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. Non-football fans may not know about him, but Empowering gives a glimpse of his life now and how technology has helped improve his quality of life.

Super Bowl Ads

Here’s the short Empowering ad…

But that’s not what really touched me. Microsoft has released several ads highlighting how their technology and products have become integrated in the lives of people with disabilities, and this longer video, titled Steve Gleason: No White Flags, hits really hard. Having a nephew who has Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic disorder that inhibits growth and development (including communication), I really felt for Gleason and his family as they shared their experience in this snippet.

Another video, this time highlighting the experience of Sarah Churman (title: Hearing for the first time), only emphasizes how we take so many things for granted.

There are some who might say that this borders on emotional blackmail, and if you think that way, why not go ask someone whose life has been impacted by technology in a similar manner? You just might get a better, more positive perspective in life.

Seriously, even if you won’t touch a Windows laptop or tablet with a 12-foot pole for personal use, after watching these videos, you’ll at least appreciate how the company has been touching lives. If you don’t feel even the slightest twinge in your heart, there must be something wrong with you.