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MS Defends Interactive Kinect Marketing

Felix Kemp
Games news, Kinect, Microsoft, NUads

Last week, Microsoft revealed a new initiative to enable partners to promote their products or service through Kinect. Dubbed NUads, their an interactive component allowing publishers to market their product by harnessing Kinect's unique strengths, such as shouting 'Kinect More' to receive an email packed with information on an advertised product, or wave your hands to take part in a poll. The community's response to NUads was scathing, to say the least, but today Microsoft has come out in support of their interactive marketing scheme.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Microsoft's senior product manager David Dennis explained that the announcement was intended for their marketing partners rather than purely the gaming community itself. "I think that was a message that was delivered at an advertising event for the very purposes you mentioned," Dennis explained. "Kinect is such a ground-breaking technology in so many different ways that we're looking at ways we can integrate Kinect into an advertising model like that. But obviously we want to hear from people and see their reaction".

What the community is - rightly - worried about is their time spent playing Kinect constantly being interrupted by intrusive ads and promotions. But Dennis is adamant that the model has been well thought through, rather than simply slapped together and placed in the hands of greedy marketing executives. "We want to bring programmes like the advertising that's in the dash right now in a way that makes sense, and ensure the ads are relevant and are delivered in a way that's appropriate".

Microsoft explained that just as Kinect is re-shaping the way Microsoft looks at developing and marketing games, so too will it change the way their publishing partners promote their products. "We've had advertising all the way back on the 360, including in-game advertising, so I think, just as we've innovated and updated the Xbox experience with Kinect, we're looking at ways we can continue to innovate and do unique things that we think are done in ways in which people are comfortable with".

As long as the system is intelligent enough to advertise a product without interrupting or ruining a gaming experience, I can't see much of a problem with NUads. We all hate adverts, but they're a necessary evil in our world, I'm afraid. [Eurogamer]

Add a comment5 comments
Exu  Jun. 26, 2011 at 00:50

Fact is if I'm paying for Xbox Live I shouldn't be seeing adverts at all, unless I want to.

Rubisco  Jun. 26, 2011 at 03:36

Necessary evil? Just because they're the inevitable consequence of the society in which we live doesn't mean they're necessary.

StauntonLick  Jun. 26, 2011 at 13:07

@Exu Exactly - customers paying for a premium subscription shouldn't be served adverts in the first place. Now MS want me to go and buy an expensive peripheral so that they can bombard me with more? No thanks!

At this point, even if MS handle the advertisements carefully (as, for the most part, they have done with Xbox live) they will still put off those who may be considering buying a Kinect but don't like the idea of it being just another way to be advertised to.

Michael  Jun. 26, 2011 at 19:04

Wow this is just stupid who in their right mind wants to share adverts with friends and data mine for companies for free whilst MS coin it in.

Jonathan Lester  Jun. 26, 2011 at 23:09

I absolutely agree with you on a basic level... but remember that us gamers thrive on advertising. Alternate Reality Games are adverts. Trailers are adverts. Demos are adverts. And we love it. Who's to say that Kinect can't be used to make advertising accessible - dare I say, even acceptable?

In-game advertising, however, destroys immersion and can kill games flat. Microsoft's publishing partners will need to remember that it tends to cause resentment towards a brand, not sympathy or sales.

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