Microsoft Will Change TV Forever


By prenasharma / / Earlier this week in Cannes, Microsoft announced an upcoming aspect of Xbox LIVE that aims to change the TV advertising game. TV as a whole is a passive sport. That is, perhaps, part of its charm; it requires no real engagement. But with Microsoft’s NUads (Natural User Interface Ads) innovation, get ready to take charge of another facet of your world. Via Kinect voice and motion control, TV watchers and game players will be able to respond to on-screen prompts like, “Get more information on Adidas,” or “Tweet about this Coca Cola commercial!” Viewers can also schedule a reminder to watch a show when they see its commercial, vote in sponsored polls, or find out where they can most conveniently buy the latest Toyota. No remote needed. Mark Kroese, General Manager of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Advertising, says, “…in this case of NUads and Kinect, I’m here to say that it will change television as we know it—forever.” Dun dun dun… It is indeed revolutionary. Yet, on the recently posted Youtube video showcasing this new product, 4,868 people say they dislike it. Xbox LIVE gold members pay for their services; they don’t want to pay to see ads. Of course, the game plan for NUads could be tweaked in the next few months. According to the New York Times, its public release date is set for spring 2012. Hopefully, Microsoft will come up with a flashier way to officially unveil this new interactive invention. As heartrending as it might be, they could take a page from Apple’s book. Showcase cool technology with cool technology, not with some dry commentary on a product’s uses. When I see an ad for the iPad, I am inspired to change the world. NUads is perhaps just as exciting, but I feel mildly interested and in fact, distrustful of Microsoft’s capability to really bring this to life. “Let’s get to it!” says Microsoft spokesperson Enrique de la Garza, mustering the minimal enthusiasm he can manage. Yes, let’s. But turn the promotional space over to those who can market in style. NUads may change TV forever, but the program needs more votes to win most likely to succeed. An example of a NUAd for The Voice, followed by a Photoshop effort by an incensed lazygamer. It appears this marketing battle is already uphill.