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Microsoft’s holiday ad stars a dog that gets to play Halo Infinite before the rest of us

Warning: The dog gets ONE pet in this entire commercial

Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Microsoft’s holiday ad takes a worrisome turn this year, as a family of distracted pet owners focuses on various Microsoft products instead of its dog. Aw, poor Rufus. But Rufus makes the best of the situation, dreaming of his own adventures with his furry friends.

Rufus the dog starts his journey through the house by visiting a teenage boy playing Halo Infinite — originally slated for the Xbox Series X’s launch and then delayed into 2021. After receiving zero pets from him, Rufus walks away to find a more appreciative human. He then finds his human mom using Microsoft Teams, and receives his single and only pet for the entire ad. He later finds his other two humans playing Minecraft and Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Dejected, Rufus looks out the window to spot Sam, a fellow dog who lives next door — who has likely gone through a similar journey in his own home. After Rufus falls asleep in front of the window, we follow him into his dreams. Here, Rufus lives his best life (although he still receives no pets, despite playing fetch very well).

Rufus imagines himself and his new buddy Sam flying through the skies in Microsoft Flight Simulator before the two drop into an idyllic Minecraft world — complete with a giant fire hydrant. But not even Rufus can escape work in his dreams, as he and Sam take to Microsoft Teams to meet with Luther, Gunnar, Ruby, Ruca, Piper, and more.

Microsoft holiday ad GIF of Rufus the dog returning Master Chief’s live grenade
I don’t think D-Dog ever did this for Venom Snake.
Image: Microsoft/YouTube

Finally, Rufus and Sam play fetch with Master Chief, helping the Spartan retrieve a live grenade that he “misplaced” moments earlier.

The ad ends with the message “this holiday, find your joy.” But here at Polygon, we’d like to add a line: “and cherish your pets.”

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