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Microsoft: Xbox One Dashboard Designed With "Advertising In Mind"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Advertising, Adverts, Microsoft, Xbox One

Microsoft: Xbox One Dashboard Designed With "Advertising In Mind"

Kinect To Play Major Role In Next-Gen Ads

Several executives and developers in Microsoft's advertising department have confirmed that commercials will be a major part of the Xbox One's operating system, which has reportedly been built around a new wave of interactive ads.

“It’s going to be an exciting transition though because the 360 console wasn’t built with advertising in mind, it was more of an afterthought, so we’ve had to adapt to the technology and how we work to fit them in to the console,” said Xbox LIVE Advertising's Technical Account Manager in a candid chat with StickTwiddlers, “whereas this new one is going to have advertising in mind. So a lot of the limitations that we have now, hopefully the release of the boundaries will widened so the opportunities will be a lot greater.

“With the new Xbox One, the technology and Kinect has improved a lot, so that actually the voice recognition, the way you speak to your Xbox and the transition between gaming and watching TV is a lot smoother, and hopefully we can transpire [sic] that into advertising that we do," he continued, suggesting that Kinect's motion tracking, voice and facial recognition could be used to tailor advertisements to specific consumers and present more compelling interactive commercials. The 'Nuad' campaign, launched with the Xbox 360 Metro dashboard, was never quite able to capitalise on this.

“It’s not like when you’re at work when you sit in front of a screen and your experience is very personal," explains Senior Digital Art Director/UX Designer. "But with Xbox, it’s lots of people in front of once big screen. They are playing or watching together and advertising is being consumed in a totally different way.”

"On Xbox, the ad is part of the actual experience, it’s not something that is outside. The only difference is that the advertisement we have is quite small and not disruptive so people are not aware of clicking on the banners because they know this is a part of the whole experience on the dash. So the users know that this is something that when they click on it, they won’t be hit by something crazy or something dangerous like on the web. Everything that lands there, we create.”

Kinect will also be invaluable for collecting metrics on Xbox Live consumers... BUT advertisers will only have access to a tiny fraction of this information. While developers will receive a much more robust set of metrics about player demographics and behaviour to inform game design, the advertising department can only use a limited set.

“This sort of works at two levels,” the Microsoft employee added. “There’s the game producers who have a different API, so a different set of code and system that they use, and they’ve got a lot more control of the whole thing, whereas from the advertising point of view we have a slightly more limited set, which is designed to protect the user. The company is very keen on protecting the user from any sort of abuse so we can’t do certain things.”

The Xbox 360's plethora of adverts has been a controversial sticking point for many gamers, though some argue that it's often led to them enjoying games, films or music they otherwise mightn't have heard about.

Thoughts?

Add a comment17 comments
Adster  Jul. 5, 2013 at 12:10

"On Xbox, the ad is part of the actual experience"

"Kinect will also be invaluable for collecting metrics on Xbox Live consumers"

I swear that Microsoft are doing their very best to drive away customers.

Anarchist  Jul. 5, 2013 at 12:12

On Xbox, the ad is part of the actual experience

I don't want it to be part if my experience. If I'm interested in something, I already have my impartial media resources to tell me all I need to know about it. I already rely on my neutral sites to tell me about things that I may be interested in. I've made too many bad purchases from things linked on the dashboard, MS don't care if ill like it or not, just as long as they get a sale.

Whereas dealspwn get nothing if I buy a game or not, they are there to look out for me and stop me from making stupid decisions and drunkenly buying another dungeons and dragons, daggerdale!

Same goes for music, films or any other media they keep trying to peddle. I have sites I trust, the dashboard is not one of them.

Late  Jul. 5, 2013 at 13:07

Kinect 2.0 is massively improved over it's already impressive predecessor, and is a fantastic piece of equipment. It's voice, facial, and object recognition are amazing.

And yet I rather fancy it will refuse to recognise some basic verbal instructions like "xbox, stop collecting data about me", or "xbox, if you show me one more bloody advert I'll take a baseball bat to you".
That said, I'll be proper impressed (and equally worried) if the object recognition software saw me snapping, storming out of the room, coming back to the room with a baseball bat, approaching the kinect, then the xbox said to me "okay, I give in - you win. No more adverts..."

Anarchist  Jul. 5, 2013 at 13:40

Alternatively, what if Kinect picks up on brand logos etc? If it sees you sat there with a can of Dr Pepper, will it recognise it and send that off to Dr Pepper himself, or alternatively Mr Pepsi? Who can then choose to include you (or not, if you're already drinking the stuff why bother?) in their marketing campaigns?

Scary.

Quietus  Jul. 5, 2013 at 13:44

I'm honestly beginning to think that the Xbone isn't actually real. Somehow, Microsoft will turn round in a few weeks time and just say 'Hehe, fooled you!'

I cannot believe that one company can be so stupid, and get so much wrong within such a short space of time. It beggars belief.

JonLester  Jul. 5, 2013 at 14:02

It's aggravating, but for balance's sake, I do take some heart from: "The only difference is that the advertisement we have is quite small and not disruptive so people are not aware of clicking on the banners because they know this is a part of the whole experience on the dash." Part of the reason the Xbox 360's ads are so nauseating is that they're just slapped onto an OS that isn't really appropriate for them, so if the new adverts are more subtle in terms of implementation, more fun and (this is the key) much better aimed at what I actually like, this could be a welcome change.

Kinect's voice commands also presumably means that we can go directly to the game or content we want without having to move over an advert. Hopefully. But, erm, we'll see.

On the other hand, shoving adverts down my gob when I already pay an annual subscription won't be any less bullsh*t.

Quietus  Jul. 5, 2013 at 14:22

On the other hand, shoving adverts down my gob when I already pay an annual subscription won't be any less bullsh*t.
This is the whole point. It's like TV services from Sky et al. You don't need ads because you pay a subscription. A few years on, and we get them creeping back in, and now 25% of what you watch is ads. Every man and his dog will tell you that they record everything, just to skip the ads.

stevenjameshyde  Jul. 5, 2013 at 14:24

I'm already forced to watch adverts if I use 4OD on my XBox or indeed any other device... if all Kinect is doing is making those adverts that already exist marginally more relevant, it doesn't really matter to me. Of course no adverts would be better all round, but reality dictates otherwise

The only thing that does bother me is that, for every advert I see, I'm going to be wondering what piece of data theyused to target that at me. For example if they start pushing deodorant and cleaning products, I'm going to be a bit offended and wonder what other kind of sensors Kinect has theat they aren't telling us about...

JonLester  Jul. 5, 2013 at 15:00

Every man and his dog will tell you that they record everything, just to skip the ads.


Well, the XBOne does have a built-in DVR. :P

Last edited by JonLester, Jul. 5, 2013 at 15:01
Late  Jul. 5, 2013 at 15:09

What's the betting it won't let you watch what you've recorded unless you watch an unskippable ad, though...

Late  Jul. 5, 2013 at 15:10

For example if they start pushing deodorant and cleaning products, I'm going to be a bit offended and wonder what other kind of sensors Kinect has theat they aren't telling us about...

lol! :D

DivideByZero  Jul. 5, 2013 at 17:17

Hey Microsoft, you know what else will play a major role in the Xbox Three? Having NO USERS!

Harryisme  Jul. 6, 2013 at 05:14

I'm starting to think MS hire their execs depending on how many times they got dropped on their head as a baby.

Advertisement is means of them making more money, not a means of entertainment for us. You will never hear anyone say, 'I hear the XB One has some excellent adverts on their dashboard, I was sitting on the fence before but this will clinch it.'

Crap like this you keep quite about, we know the dashboard will have adverts, we don't need to know that it was part of the design process.

Harryisme  Jul. 6, 2013 at 05:15

What's the betting it won't let you watch what you've recorded unless you watch an unskippable ad, though...



Worst still with Kinect 2.0 watching it will pause the advert if you are not watching, so there is no escape.

Anarchist  Jul. 6, 2013 at 10:38

What's the betting it won't let you watch what you've recorded unless you watch an unskippable ad, though...



Worst still with Kinect 2.0 watching it will pause the advert if you are not watching, so there is no escape.


Ill just have to keep a blow up doll with my face stuck onto it as a standby for when I brew up during ads then

Late  Jul. 7, 2013 at 10:44

You have one of those, too? :D

Anarchist  Jul. 8, 2013 at 00:46

You have one of those, too? :D


Yeah, I usually use it when I need to get into Leeds during rush hour. Those 2+ lanes are a godsend :D

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