Microsoft's Xbox Live Advertising team first showed off its highly interactive NUads platform at the Cannes festival last year, and today announced they will start rolling out to Xbox 360s this fall. The first advertisers up are Toyota, Unilever and Samsung Mobile USA with Kinect-enabled ads that let viewers respond to questions after a 30-second spot by voice or gesture. According to Microsoft this is great because viewers can easily see real time stats of how others are voting and advertisers get immediate feedback. While we've all wanted to shout down an ad at some point (just look out the window Zooey, seriously) there's probably going to be a contingent that thinks letting advertisers accumulate data from behind that Kinect camera lens is a little creepier than they'd like. Check out Microsoft's pitch for the tech in press release and video form after the break.
Microsoft Signs First NUads Advertisers, Including Toyota, Unilever and Samsung Mobile USA on Xbox LIVE
These leading brands are the first to purchase NUads, now available to all advertisers.
REDMOND, Wash., June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. today announced the official rollout of NUads on Xbox LIVE, making the new interactive TV ad format available for sale to advertisers broadly. Toyota, Unilever and Samsung Mobile USA are the first brands to develop NUads campaigns that will appear on Xbox LIVE this fall. NUads advertisements transform standard 30-second TV spots into engaging and actionable experiences using the power of voice and gesture controls of Kinect for Xbox 360.
"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."
Microsoft released a sneak peek of some of the first NUads that will air on Xbox LIVE this fall:
Toyota's "Reinvented" ad campaign premiered during Super Bowl XLVI, promoting the reinvention of the 2012 Camry. The ad marked Toyota's return to Super Bowl advertising. Today, Toyota is reinventing that campaign for Xbox LIVE, adding a layer of interactivity enabled by NUads. In this version of the "Reinvented" ad, Toyota asks viewers what they would like to see reinvented. Viewers can then respond using Kinect-powered voice or gesture controls. This gives Toyota valuable feedback it can use for its next campaign.
Following on from the successful campaign for the launch of Axe Attract for Him and for Her, Axe - called Lynx in the U.K. - will be one of the first brands to turn the digital ad into a NUad with Xbox. The creative centers around a cops-and-robbers setup with the tagline, "Nothing will ever be the same again." Using the new format, Lynx will ask the audience if the Lynx Effect should be given to girls. Viewers will have the option of voting "Yes, of course" or "No way" using hand gestures or a simple voice command.
The first NUads advertisers had this to say about the new interactive format:
"The creative possibilities of NUads are endless. We can take a 30-second TV spot and customize it for NUads to get an immediate response from Toyota's customer," said John Lisko, executive communications director at Saatchi & Saatchi LA for Toyota. "It allows customers to participate with our advertising, which is really exciting. The interactivity of NUads is leading the industry and changing the way we're connecting with our customers."
"NUads is a game changer for the 30-second television spot, and for the first time allows customers to interact with a brand on TV. Toyota has always been at the forefront of advertising innovation, so NUads was a natural next step in our longstanding work with Xbox," said Dionne Colvin, National Marketing Media Manager for Toyota Motor Sales Inc. "Xbox LIVE Advertising has given us the opportunity to learn a lot about our customers and apply those learnings across all our media plans, and the addition of NUads will help us deepen that customer understanding."
"We have always been very innovative in our communications, and as we increasingly look at Xbox as a fantastic platform to engage with consumers, NUads offer us a great canvas to penetrate the culture and establish a dialogue with them," said Babs Rangaiah, vice president of Global Media Innovation at Unilever. "NUads and the gesture- and voice-based Kinect technology have great potential for creativity. What we're seeing now is at the very early stages of what we could do. And as always, we're keen to continue to explore more ways of inviting our consumers to get involved with our brands."
The first NUads format to roll out offers polling capabilities that allow advertisers to ask a multiple-choice question during the airing of a 30-second spot. 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.
More information about how to advertise on Xbox LIVE is available at http://advertising.microsoft.com/gaming/xbox-live.
Xbox is Microsoft's premier entertainment service for the TV, phone, PC and tablet. It's home to the best and broadest games, as well as one of the world's largest libraries of music, movies, TV and sports. With Kinect, Xbox 360 transformed gaming and entertainment in the living room with a whole new way to play games and find entertainment - no controller required. More information about Xbox can be found online at http://www.xbox.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
SOURCE Microsoft Corp.