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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, 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." Analysis

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.

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User Comments

draytone's Avatar


I took full advantage of that bug which allowed you buy a month for £1 continuously - think I got about 24 months worth in the end. I do look at the ends, but would start getting a bit annoyed if non game ads started appearing. I don't mind other media such as films or music but if a clothing ad appeared it might get on my nerves a little.
Posted 13:39 on 18 January 2012
Endless's Avatar


My Gold expired in November, just before Skyrim came out. I'm still playing Skyrim. Unless I'm playing online games there is no reason for me to resubscribe. I mean zero incentive. I'll pay for gold again when Streetfighter X Tekken comes out and not before.
Posted 10:00 on 18 January 2012
Joey_Bananas's Avatar


Since January 11th this year, my account went from Gold to Silver. I had been a Gold subscriber for the past 2 years, but now I can't justify paying the Gold membership fee for the amount of online games I play with my Xbox (the only one in the past 6 months being Battlefield Bad Company 2 and more recently Battlefield 3).

Over that time I saw 2 dashboard iterations, and the latest one with all the snazzy "swish" panels which are more attuned for Kinect-users. When I was a Gold member (and I'm sure a lot of users here will think the same), there were advertisements on each of these panels. Also, the larger panel in the middle of the dashboard home screen advertised both Microsoft-specific things and other third-party services.

These advertisements weren't very intrusive, but what I've came to notice is that the dashboard layout hasn't changed now that I'm Silver. So in actuality, both Gold and Silver members are being presented with the same amount of advertisements and it really does smack of Microsoft pushing these things into your face regardless of if you're a paying Xbox Live member or not.

Like mentioned in the article, you'd expect a paid membership to limit or give you an advertisement-free experience on Xbox Live. At the very least, if you have a Gold membership you should have the option to switch off the ads through a console setting. I understand that some of the advertisements can be of interest to paying customers as well, but to give no one the option to remove them is quite annoying.

If Microsoft continue with keeping advertisements on Gold membership, they could at least give the user preference options. Having LOVEFILM advertisements, or more specifically game package deals, instead of Sky broadband/TV ones would be of more interest to me. On paid cable TV subscriptions, you don't have a choice of what advertisements you see. On Xbox Live, Microsoft have an opportunity to cater to their audience as it's consumer base is not as widespread as TV services such as Sky.
Posted 13:52 on 17 January 2012
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