At Cannes, Microsoft shows off its efforts to make interactive TV spots a reality.
Cannes, France-- Microsoft has engineered a way for advertisers to bake voice and gesture-based response mechanisms into TV spots seen by Xbox Kinect users.
Called Nuads, the product lets marketers add an interactive layer to commercials without requiring viewers to fumble with remote control buttons. For instance, Kinect owners may respond to a call-to-action by waving a hand or speaking a few words aloud.
"We think it's a significant milestone in the journey of interactive television," said Mark Kroese, GM of Microsoft's entertainment and devices advertising unit.
Kroese will show off the capability in a demo today at the Cannes Lions ad festival, featuring hypothetical ads for Adidas, NBC, Toyota, and other brands.
But while the Nuads product could make interactive TV ads more appealing to consumers (and by extension advertisers and TV networks), all parties involved will have to wait. The technology won't be available until next spring, due to significant platform updates and network enhancements to precede its rollout.
So far Microsoft has come up with five cues Xbox owners can use to interact with ads: "Xbox More" (to get more information), "Xbox Tweet" (to share an ad or offer), "Xbox Near Me" (to respond to a local trial offer, such as visiting a car dealership), "Xbox Schedule" (for TV networks' tune-in ads) and gesture-controlled voting (such as a wave or thumbs-up).
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
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