Kinect advertising trailer is the most incandescently naive marketing car-crash you may ever see

You know that episode of South Park where Cartman sees something so funny that he loses the ability to laugh? That's where I am with this five-minutetrailer for Microsoft's new Kinect-driven advertising plans. Except instead of humour, the culprit is sheer incredulity at the concept that I've actually just witnessed what I have just witnessed.

I'm ranted out before I've even started. So the only way I think I can sum this one up isby containing my whirling thoughts within the safe constraints of bullet-points, otherwise I don't know what will happen. I may go quiet and start to cry a bit, or I may go into rant freefall and not stop until I die from it. Seriously, it's better for everyone this way.

Watched it? Right, a few points then.

  • Adverts are not games or films. People will not get excited about consuming them, no matter how "unique" your method of presentation is. "The magic of Kinect" can only stretch so far. Sorry Microsoft, you sweet, naive folks. No-one will think this is cool.
  • Where the hell are these adverts going to appear on my dashboard? That looks disturbingly like a dedicated splash page to me. Are ads going to have their own row of the dashboard?
  • If they are, you're aware that no-one is going to look at them, right? Adverts are not content. I cannot reiterate this enough. No-one is going to fire up their Xbox and say "Hey, I wonder what cool new ads are in the ad section today? Let's go inand check them out." No-one.
  • If that splash page pops up automatically without the requirement of being navigated to, then sorry again, Microsoft, but I hope you have some kind of gamer-rage-proof bunker you can retreat to. A lot of us already pay for Xbox Live. A compulsory ad menu will make us very sad.
  • 0:38 - Oh God, it seems that you don't understand that adverts aren't content. You actually think people are going to say "Oh cool, a Coke ad. I'm going to take time out of my gaming to look at that on my gaming console." You really think that, don't you? Oh God.
  • An automatic "Tweet this ad" function is really an automatic "Make everyone unfollow me" function. No-one is going to use it. And this is not "very unique" (And incidentally, there cannot be variable degrees of "unique". Just so you know). Viral marketing has existed for many years. I'm afraid though, this is not how you make it work. This is not how you make it work at all.
  • None of this "really, really cool", "unique" interactive stuff is actually unique at all. None of it cannot be done with basic web advertising. In fact none of it hasn't been done with basic web advertising a great many times.
  • Like most things Kinect, there is no functionality here that would not be quicker and easier if pressing a button or clicking a mouse.


  • If you're going to leave disparaging messages about your colleagues' cleanliness, you might want to clean the white board before you start filming. Or "MOVE" it, as someone seems to have suggested.
  • You know that's a Sony TV, right?

So there's my reaction to it (fortunately for you I refrained from making a video to give you my full response, which basically involved my hysterically laughing through a veil of very real tears of despair). So I'll round off now. But I'll leave you with the Like and Dislike stats forthis video on YouTube. The current ratio is 37/1249. The comments have now been disabled, which is unfortunate, as 20 minutes ago there were some absolute doozies on there. Someone even commented that he'd rather have his identity stolen. But what do you think?

June 22, 2011

I'm ranted out before I've even started. So the only way I think I can sum this one up isby containing my whirling thoughts within the safe constraints of bullet-points, otherwise I don't know what will happen. I may go quiet and start to cry a bit, or I may go into rant freefall and not stop until I die from it. Seriously, it's better for everyone this way.

Watched it? Right, a few points then.

  • Adverts are not games or films. People will not get excited about consuming them, no matter how "unique" your method of presentation is. "The magic of Kinect" can only stretch so far. Sorry Microsoft, you sweet, naive folks. No-one will think this is cool.
  • Where the hell are these adverts going to appear on my dashboard? That looks disturbingly like a dedicated splash page to me. Are ads going to have their own row of the dashboard?
  • If they are, you're aware that no-one is going to look at them, right? Adverts are not content. I cannot reiterate this enough. No-one is going to fire up their Xbox and say "Hey, I wonder what cool new ads are in the ad section today? Let's go inand check them out." No-one.
  • If that splash page pops up automatically without the requirement of being navigated to, then sorry again, Microsoft, but I hope you have some kind of gamer-rage-proof bunker you can retreat to. A lot of us already pay for Xbox Live. A compulsory ad menu will make us very sad.
  • 0:38 - Oh God, it seems that you don't understand that adverts aren't content. You actually think people are going to say "Oh cool, a Coke ad. I'm going to take time out of my gaming to look at that on my gaming console." You really think that, don't you? Oh God.
  • An automatic "Tweet this ad" function is really an automatic "Make everyone unfollow me" function. No-one is going to use it. And this is not "very unique" (And incidentally, there cannot be variable degrees of "unique". Just so you know). Viral marketing has existed for many years. I'm afraid though, this is not how you make it work. This is not how you make it work at all.
  • None of this "really, really cool", "unique" interactive stuff is actually unique at all. None of it cannot be done with basic web advertising. In fact none of it hasn't been done with basic web advertising a great many times.
  • Like most things Kinect, there is no functionality here that would not be quicker and easier if pressing a button or clicking a mouse.


  • If you're going to leave disparaging messages about your colleagues' cleanliness, you might want to clean the white board before you start filming. Or "MOVE" it, as someone seems to have suggested.
  • You know that's a Sony TV, right?

So there's my reaction to it (fortunately for you I refrained from making a video to give you my full response, which basically involved my hysterically laughing through a veil of very real tears of despair). So I'll round off now. But I'll leave you with the Like and Dislike stats forthis video on YouTube. The current ratio is 37/1249. The comments have now been disabled, which is unfortunate, as 20 minutes ago there were some absolute doozies on there. Someone even commented that he'd rather have his identity stolen. But what do you think?

June 22, 2011