Advertisers not coming to Xbox LIVE to promote their brands are missing a fantastic opportunity not available anywhere else, Dean Carignan, the senior business director for Xbox Live Advertising for Microsoft EMEA, has said.
In a column published by brand-e.biz, Carignan outlined the great new advertising opportunities made possible by the recently launched new Xbox 360 experience.
"We're offering advertisers two new opportunities in the form of standard 30-second spots within traditional TV content on Xbox LIVE, and Kinect-enabled branded destination experiences," he explained.
The first agency in the UK to take this opportunity is VivaKi, which has snapped up all the standard 30-second spot inventory in the market through March 2012. This will see the likes of EMI, Samsung, Emirates, Honda, E1 and O2 making use of the ad space.
However, it is the Kinect-enabled branded destination experiences which Carignan believes provides clients with the most innovative opportunities.
"Since the launch of Kinect, a little over a year ago, the industry has been asking us what this means for advertisers? We saw the creative possibilities early on but needed to develop formats to help advertisers take advantage of those possibilities," he explained. "With the launch of the new Xbox 360 experience, we now have more than 100 Kinect-enabled branded destination experiences where audiences can interact with advertising using the simple wave of a hand. This makes Xbox LIVE the only place on TV where you can use a natural user interface like gesture to engage with audiences.
"To give a current example, Garnier Fructis is running a campaign on Xbox LIVE that makes interesting use of Kinect-enhanced capabilities. Targeting female Xbox LIVE subscribers, it uses Kinect gesture controls to give audiences the opportunity to sign up for a free sample of Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Shampoo and Conditioner and the opportunity to win a year's worth of Garnier Fructis Pure Clean and an Xbox LIVE Gold Membership."
Gamers hoping to see less advertising and more content which is of interest on their Xbox dashboard appear to be out of luck.
"We believe Xbox LIVE is poised to play a significant role in TV advertising in the future," concludes Carignan. "No other network in the world can give advertisers and consumers these types of branded experiences, and we plan to bring even more groundbreaking interactive TV advertising solutions in 2012 and beyond."
The major issue gamers have with advertising on Xbox LIVE comes from the fact many are paying around £40 a year to use the Gold service, and feel this should be enough to enjoy an ad-free experience.
An ad-supported free or cheaper Gold service would appease the ad haters, but this seems unlikely.
Just look at premium TV service Sky, which not only charges customers to access the programming, but also fills its channels with ads.