Microsoft Rolls Out Interactive Ads On Xbox This Fall

In a recent press release Microsoft announced that it will be bringing interactive ads to the Xbox console this Fall. The new ad program, titled NUads, allows advertisers to create short TV spots in which customers can give live feedback of what they want to see next from the company.

The new initiative will, of course, work with Microsoft’s Kinect camera, enabling viewers to use motion controls or voice commands to make selections within the commercial.

Some of the first companies on board with the new program include Toyota, Unilever, and Samsung Mobile. Toyota is expanding upon its “reinvented campaign” from this year’s Super Bowl to ask ad watchers to give their opinion on what they’d like to see reinvented. The company will use the information to produce the most popular choices as future commercial spots.

“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, in the press release. “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.”

The NUads program will work to give advertisers real-time feedback on what customers think about its products and advertising methods, and additionally allow viewers to interact with advertisements in a novel way. In some cases, users will even be able to see data on how other Xbox Live viewers voted.

“We have always been very innovative in our communications, and as we increasingly look at Xbox as a fantastic platform to engage with consumers,” said Babs Rangaiah of Unilever. “What we’re seeing now is at the very early stages of what we could do.”

Hopefully they can come up with something more engaging than viewer polls and statistics once these very early stages have passed.

All in all it’s a pretty craft concept, turning all of Xbox Live into a crowdsourced focus group. Too bad we’re paying $60 every year for access, and we don’t even get the free lunch.

Corey Cummings

Corey is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he received degrees in English and Creative Writing. He currently lives in Chicago and enjoys alternately obsessing over video games that aren't out yet and crazy gadgets he can't afford.

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