Are you ready for commercials on Xbox Live? No? What if I told you you could interact with them via the Kinect controller, would that change your mind? Still no? Look, I get it that you don’t want any kind of advertising when you’re playing with your game console, but since you can’t stop the inevitable from happening, aren’t ads that respond to Kinect commands better than the typical 30-second TV commercials that won’t stop appearing and interrupting a TV show?
Look, I know it’s a hard sell, but you might as well embrace it, because the technology is here and these kinds of advertisements–NUads–are on the way. The good thing is, if you don’t like them, you can always wave them away, right? One hopes, anyway.
These NUads offer a new kind of interactive technology, powered, of course, by vocal and movement commands from the Kinect. From Microsoft’s perspective, these interactive commercials will be a “game changer” for the typical 30-second TV commercial due the viewers ability to engage the advert directly, provided you consider a response to Kinect command engaging. A quote in Microsoft’s press release reveals the idea behind NUads, besides the collection of user data:
“NUads marks the beginning of a new era for TV advertising. It delivers the one thing traditional TV advertising is missing — engagement,” said Ross Honey, general manager of Xbox LIVE Entertainment and Advertising. “We developed NUads to breathe new life into the standard 30-second spot. With NUads, brands can get real-time feedback from audiences, making TV advertising actionable for the first time.”
It’s odd that TV advertising is mentioned, because besides being the output device, the TV really serves no other purpose in relation to the Xbox or Xbox Live. It’s not the same as CBS pushing the latest Cialis ad copy to aging husbands who happen to be watching “the big game.” Furthermore, another reason to disagree with the “TV advertising” label is because the video for NUads distinctly says, “XBOX Live Advertising introduces NUads.”
Aside from the output device, the modern television doesn’t come into play with Xbox Live, especially in relation to broadcasting commercials. Anyway, here’s a sneak peak of what Xbox Live users can expect to see soon:
As indicated throughout, the Kinect will play a major role in the interactivity promised by NUads:
Consumers can enter the poll with a simple wave of a hand or a voice command while viewing the commercial. Consumers get a real-time tally of the answers so they can see how other Xbox LIVE subscribers are voting, and advertisers get real-time feedback from consumers to help inform future campaigns.
While the bold section emphasizes the Kinect, the last part of the quote should be of interest as well, especially for those of you who like to maintain an idea of privacy. Not only can advertisers get feedback based on user interaction, as Geeks Are Sexy points out, Microsoft has applied for a patent that can track a user’s mood based on facial expressions. Furthermore, based on this data, appropriate ads are given. Does this mean if you’re best girl just dumped you, ads for Match.com will be served to you?
It sure sounds like it.
Is this the kind of advertising you’d like to see in the future or is your privacy of more concern to you than get tailored advertising? Then there’s this line of thinking, courtesy of Reddit: “If XBOX wants to put advertisements on their dashboard, then users should not have to pay for XBOX Live.” What about real commercials in Xbox Live? Shouldn’t that remove the burden from the paying public as well?