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Microsoft delighted with Xbox NUads, vows increased investment

Expect more video ads on Xbox.

Natural user interface ads, the tech that allows marketers to place interactive Kinect-friendly advertising on the Xbox 360 dashboard, has been a resounding success, Microsoft has declared.

NUads, as they are known, have been so successful that the Xbox 360 manufacturer has vowed to increase its investment in them.

NAads launched late last year with interactive polling ads from Subway and Toyota. Microsoft's statistics show 37 per cent of viewers engaged with NUads when prompted with the option to vote, and of these 71 per cent voted.

With Kinect you interact with the ads using voice commands or waves of your hand. The idea is that eventually you'll be able to post messages about an ad to your Twitter feed by bellowing "Xbox Tweet" at your Kinect unit, for example, and, if you want to find out more about a product, shout "Xbox More" and you'll duly receive an email filled with product info.

“When we launched NUads, we redefined the 30-second spot,” beamed Ross Honey, general manager of Xbox Live Entertainment and Advertising. “These results show that NUads is a real breakthrough in TV advertising, and you can expect more investment from us when it comes to this new ad format and video advertising in general.”

Xbox Live and ads within it have for many years been a sticking point for gamers, and NUads have proved a hot topic.

In 2011, following the announcement of the tech, Xbox senior product manager David Dennis called on gamers to give it a chance after they reacted negatively.

“We've gradually rolled out different advertising programs and options for people over time,” he said. “While initially people tend to react to them [negatively], they do get comfortable with them and understand that they're typically very brand-appropriate and content-appropriate for the types of folks who are on the other side of the TV screen.

“We've had advertising all the way back on the 360, including in-game advertising, so I think, just as we've innovated and updated the Xbox experience with Kinect, we're looking at ways we can continue to innovate and do unique things that we think are done in ways in which people are comfortable with.”

Then, last year, Microsoft was forced to respond to privacy concern after it emerged that NUads uses Kinect to record and compile biometric data on users.

Microsoft denied any wrongdoing, saying at the time it did no use captured information for advertising purposes.

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