Kinect Me

Ideas January 10, 2012 2:09 pm

I’m fascinated by Kinect.  And since a video is always better than words, just watch what people are doing with Kinect:


But since I blog mostly about the world of television and advertising, I’m particularly fascinated by the new XBox Live entertainment experience that incorporates Kinect capabilities- XBox Live allows Kinect users to control their television/movie viewing experience with gestures and voice-

Use your voice to pause and rewind movies and TV shows. Plus, say what you want to watch and Xbox finds it with voice search powered by Bing.   And with Kinect for Xbox 360, play, pause and rewind [tv or movies] with the wave of a hand or the sound of your voice. (source)

Whoa. XBox Live is poised to completely change the TV viewing experience- and advertising model.  With XBox Live, viewers can experience television with 3 senses (sight, sound, and touch/movement) vs. the traditional 2 senses (sight and sound).  With the addition of movement, viewers can actively engage with programs and advertisements– and advertisers can track, through Kinect movements, how viewers interact with advertisements.

I read on the Microsoft Advertising blog that some advertisers like Garnier Fructis are using Kinect gestures, but honestly, they aren’t too exciting– the ads are still 30 second spots, and with the example of Garnier Fructis, viewers only gesture once to get a free sample.  Yawn.

Not maximizing Kinect’s and XBox Live’s full potential.

What if, instead, XBox Live offered viewers advertising that played more like video games? The challenge with a traditional spot is the ability to take full advantage of Kinect’s interactive capabilities in just 30 or 60 seconds.  Fully interactive, game-like ads would most likely require more time for the viewer to engage– thus, they might be better suited (at least at first) for a Hulu Plus type environment.

The thought: Hulu Plus already segments TV and movie content into fewer, longer form breaks than live TV.  ForXBox Live, the entire break could be sponsored by one advertiser, giving the advertiser time to truly engage the viewer.

The ads: Gesture-based ads could be anything! Start your brainstorm with what the audience would typically search for on the Internet or do in their regular life.  Targeting people who want to lose weight? Have a gesture-based ad that helps them accomplish their goal! And etc, etc, etc… the opportunities are ENDLESS.

Some ideas I’ve had:

A health-focused advertiser could sponsor the spots in ‘Biggest Loser.’  During the break, viewers are taught simple, gesture-based exercises they can do during the break that they can easily replicate later with or without the Kinect.  Many viewers who watch ‘Biggest Loser’ are health conscious- having a health-focused advertiser that teaches them simple exercises could increase engagement in the show and increase positive association with the advertiser.

Beauty advertisers could create hair and makeup tutorials to run in women focused shows like ‘Gossip Girl.’  An even more integrated idea would be to work with the show to find out a popular hairstyle- say, Serena’s typical beachy waves.  The beauty advertiser could then create a gesture based ad that teaches viewers how to replicate the hairstyle.  Viewers of popular ‘girly’ shows like ‘Gossip Girl’ already look for this type of content online- why not bring it to one place?  Any beauty advertiser from hairspray to bobby pins to curling irons to anything hair related could naturally fit in the spot!

Kid-focused advertisers could create fun counting and matching games for kids to play during their favorite cartoon.  Or with kids, an advertiser could create an easy game– say, Mott’s apple juice- ‘catch’ all the apples falling from the tree and learn how we make our juice!

It’d be a challenge, of course, to get these type of ads on XBox Live- convincing advertisers and viewers that a spot longer than 30 or 60 seconds doesn’t have to be a nuance, but that ads can actually enhance their viewing experience would be inherently difficult (people always resist change, even if it’s to their benefit).  Another challenge would be cost- I’m sure it’s expensive to add in Kinect capabilities to advertising.


The payoff could be huge for advertisers- the ability to engage a viewer beyond just sight and sound is a game changer for the television and advertising industry, and Kinect needs to leverage full advantage of it’s interactive capabilities!

What other types of interactive ads would you like to see?