Jun 22, 2011

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Interactive Ads Coming to Kinect Through NUad

Interactive Ads Coming to Kinect Through NUad

In an interview with The New York Times, the general manager of advertising at Microsoft, Mark Kroese described Microsoft’s latest plan to deliver advertising through its motion sensing peripheral, the Kinect. The new ad tool called NUad (Natural user-interface ads) will allow users to interact with ads on the console through voice commands or motion controls.

Gamers will interact with advertisements embedded on the consoles dashboard or within video content in ways they never have been able to before.

“When you have highly interactive people and a passive medium, they are interacting with their phone or their laptop while watching TV,” said Mark Kroese, the general manager of the advertising business group at Microsoft. The new ads, Mr. Kroese said, “create a natural way for the user to engage with the TV.”

So how will this new system work? Users will give voice commands to send messages about an ad to social media or their phones by saying “Xbox Tweet” to send a tweet about the product or “Xbox Near Me” which will send directions to the nearest retailer directly to your mobile device. You will also be able to receive emails on products or advertisements by saying “Xbox More.” There will also be plans to have gamers vote for things like their favorite pizza toppings or clothing brand using the motion controls.

At least one advertising agency seems to love this new idea.

“The new ad units really epitomized the level of engagement that everyone is working towards,” said John M. Lisko, the executive communications director of Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, part of the Publicis Groupe. Mr. Lisko said the agency had successfully advertised on the Xbox console in the past and was “absolutely considering” the new capabilities. “You can text, you can tweet, you can vote,” he said. “That’s phenomenal.”

This is obviously tied to Microsoft’s planned Television service but can also appear in other video formats including ads on the dashboard. So far reactions from gamers seem to be more on the negative side, though to be honest you can still continue to ignore ads by simply not doing anything at all. You do have to have the Kinect to use the new ad service which limits its advertising potential but we’ll just have to wait to see how this will play out.

[Source: NY Times]