Hey, TV Commercials! I'm Done With You! Give Me Something More Fun
You think interactive TV advertising is cool? You know -- the new type of commercials where you hit a few buttons on your remote to access additional information like a trailer for a new movie? Too bad. That is so 2011.
Microsoft's Xbox Live has come up with NUads -- a potential new wave of marketing that allows consumers to interact with commercials. Viewers have the option of voting “Yes, of course” or “No way” using hand gestures or simple voice commands.
With the Kinect technology in Microsoft's new Xbox system, consumers have already been able to use hand motions to interact with specific games and exercise-related programs. Now, in a test of sorts with Toyota, Unilever and Samsung Mobile USA, special NUads creative will include multiple-choice questions – such as asking what Toyota should next "reinvent," a riff off the automaker’s "reinvented" campaign for its Camry 2012, or if Unilever's Axe-type products should be given to girls.
We don't know if viewers will also get such options as asking to see no commercials, in say, an episode of NBC's "Smash." We also don't know what voice command restrictions there might be.
But you can see where this is going. A couple of days ago, TV Watch told you about Intel’s new advertising technology where webcams are being put into new TV sets, From this, a new marketing tool will arise where advertisers can figure out what commercials consumers might like as they look at TV shows and other content.
Microsoft says NUads will bring true viewer "engagement" as consumers see in real-time how other consumers are voting. Marketers, meanwhile, can see in real-time the decisions consumers are making.
Privacy issues? Don't be anywhere near worried as yet. Many of these efforts are fun to consider. But as we all know, starting up newfangled technology to be integrated into entertainment and marketing doesn't always end up where we think.
While Microsoft touts endless creative possibilities for marketers, we all know that, for NUads to work, they need to be what TV always needs to be. Babs Rangaiah, VP of global media innovation at Unilever, in talking to made the point easy to understand in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "If they can make it fun and viral enough, it'll probably work."