Microsoft has announced the results of its first flight of Xbox Live ads for marketers including Subway Restaurants and Toyota. The NUads format rolled out in the last quarter of 2012 in the United States, Canada and the U.K.
Microsoft said that, on average, 37 percent of viewers engaged with NUads when prompted with the option to vote. Out of those who did engage, 71 percent voted in the poll; 97 percent of voters stayed with the ad and watched the final tally of votes for that ad view.
This first round of NUads appeared on the home screens of Xbox LIVE users. Viewers were presented with traditional 30-second spots from advertisers that included an interactive polling component. Viewers with Kinect systems, Microsoft's voice and gesture controller, could speak their votes or wave their hands; others could use their remotes.
For example, Toyota's "Reinvented" campaign, viewers could vote on what other things they'd like to reimagine.
"It provides an opportunity for advertisers to not only engage in a two-way conversation but also to get insights about the Xbox Live communtiy's attitudes toward their products," said Sean Alexander, senior director of Xbox Live Entertainment, apps and advertising at Microsoft.
In the past year, Microsoft has found that Xbox Live users spend more time on consuming entertainment than they do on actual gaming. As of November 2012, use of entertainment apps from providers such as ESPN and Hulu has grown 63 percent year over year, while global video consumption increased 140 percent year over year. Microsoft reports more than 70 million Xbox 360 consoles in use, with more than 40 million active members of Xbox Live.
Now, Microsoft is rolling out in-stream NUads for partners, Alexander said. Partners such as ESPN, which manage their own ad inventory, have the option of incorporating NUad functionality, whether that's live TV or on-demand programming.
Next up, will be integration into Smart Glass, its companion app designed for mobile devices. Said Alexander, "For now, we want to keep the point of engagement focused on the TV, but we are already exploring how to take the invitation to go deeper into Smart Glass. That ability to engage with consumers on the second screen is an ability we are just beginning to tap into."
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014