Kinect Ads: ‘You Are the Controller’

REDMOND, Wash. – Oct. 21, 2010 – This holiday season also will be the season of Kinect, as the Xbox team prepares for one of the biggest entertainment launches in Xbox history.

“The Nov. 4 debut of Kinect is more than just a product launch, it’s a re-launch of the Xbox brand,” says Robert Matthews, general manager of global marketing communications for Xbox. “We are expanding the relevancy of Xbox to new audiences such as families, kids and those who have never picked up a video game controller.

“With Kinect, there is something for everyone. It transforms ordinary entertainment into an extraordinary experience,” Matthews adds. “Kinect lets you control games, movies, music and more with the wave of your hand or the sound of your voice. With Kinect, you are the controller.”

Not unlike a blockbuster movie, Kinect will be popping up everywhere this holiday season – in digital and social media, on primetime television, in consumer and business press, at major retailers and even in the cereal aisle at grocery stores. The ad campaign launches today, Oct. 21.

Just like real pets, “Kinectimals” will come running when they hear a player’s voice, respond to commands such as “jump,” “roll over” and “play dead,” and purr with joy when scratched them behind their ears.

“We’re not the only ones excited about Kinect,” Matthews says. “An unprecedented collection of partners have joined us for the launch .”

Xbox is partnering with well-known consumer brands in countries around the world. In the United States, Kinect will be prominently featured on Kellogg’s cereal boxes and on hundreds of millions of Pepsi bottles and 12-packs. Kinect also will be featured in promotions with Foot Locker, Macy’s, Bose, and even Burger King – where the cats of Kinectimals will be featured in kids’ meals.

Disney, Nickelodeon and other major media networks have developed custom promotions for Kinect, and television ads will run in places where people don’t normally see Xbox advertising – during shows such as “Glee,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “The X-Factor,” and “Dancing with the Stars.”

Matthews says it’s the same for print ads, with Kinect showing up in magazines such as People, Real Simple, Health, and InStyle. And Kinect’s public relations presence will also be strongly present, he says.

“As you can see, this is not business as usual for us,” Matthews says. “This is about reaching new audiences and creating a spin wheel that will keep momentum going long after launch. It’s about igniting consumer passion, empowering advocacy and amplifying that passion through our marketing.”

He says retailers around the world are gearing up for the launch, with thousands planning to open their doors at midnight on Nov. 3 to give shoppers first crack at buying Kinect at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 4.

Turn your living room into a world-class stadium, bowling alley, soccer pitch or track-and-field arena.

“In terms of scope and scale, Kinect is one of the most comprehensive marketing campaigns in Xbox history, as measured by the breadth of partnerships, digital and social marketing integration, and broad consumer outreach,” Matthews says.

Kinect has been on tour since the summer (and will continue through launch) at fairs, festivals, malls, and other events in countries around the world so people can experience it in person. The result is pure magic, he says, explaining how people are amazed to see that when they jump, their avatar jumps. When they move an arm, the game reacts. And when they say, “Xbox play,” movies obey their command.

“These are things that previously only existed in our imagination, and now it’s really possible thanks to Kinect,” Matthews says.

He says the Kinect advertising campaign is about getting people to play the game so they can see what it’s like for themselves.

“We wanted our campaign to be authentic and genuine,” Matthews said. “The joy on people’s faces is real. There is something special that happens when you step in front of Kinect. And that is what we will share with the world starting on November 4th.”

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