Microsoft is finally announcing more details about its plan to offer interactive commercials that will run in tandem with its Kinect add-on for the Xbox 360 game console. In a press release today, Microsoft revealed that Toyota, Unilever and Samsung Mobile USA will be the first companies that will launch ads with the format, which Microsoft is calling NUads.
The video ads will launch sometime later this fall and will be shown inside several of the streaming media apps that Microsoft offers to Xbox 360 owners via Xbox Live. Microsoft offered some examples of how this new kind of commercial will work. The press release states:
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. 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.
In a statement, John Lisko, executive communications director at Saatchi & Saatchi LA for Toyota, said:
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. 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.
In May, some of the details about the NUads format were revealed at a technology conference. After that conference was reported in the media, some people registered concerns about how Microsoft would handle privacy issues with these interactive ads. Microsoft later sent out a statement which said in part, "Microsoft has a strong track record of implementing some of the best privacy protection measures in the industry. We place great importance on the privacy of our customers' information and the safety of their experiences."
Source: Microsoft press release