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Microsoft: give NUads a chance

MS defends interactive Kinect promos.

Earlier this week Microsoft proudly showed off NUads - a new set of features that will allow marketers to place interactive Kinect-friendly advertising on the Xbox 360 dashboard.

Though arguably the announcement wasn't aimed at them, gamers didn't respond to the news with a great deal of enthusiasm, to put it mildly.

Duly, Eurogamer asked Xbox senior product manager David Dennis why Microsoft decided to go public with the initiative and risk the wrath of its core audience, rather than just show it to marketing partners behind closed doors.

“I think that was a message that was delivered at an advertising event for the very purposes you mentioned – to educate them about some of the innovations we're doing so they can start thinking about it,” Dennis explained.

“Kinect is such a ground-breaking technology in so many different ways that we're looking at ways we can integrate Kinect into an advertising model like that. But obviously we want to hear from people and see their reaction.”

He then suggested that gamers might be more accepting of the concept when Microsoft has had the opportunity to talk about its plans in more detail.

“We want to bring programmes like the advertising that's in the dash right now in a way that makes sense, and ensure the ads are relevant and are delivered in a way that's appropriate.

“That's really what the announcement was about. There will be more details which will hopefully get people more comfortable with it over time.”

“We watch the feedback closely,” he continued, when asked if Microsoft understood why the announcement got such a hostile welcome from gamers.

“I think the advertising we do on the platform right now, I think we've done it in a smart way and that it's consistent.

“We've gradually rolled out different advertising programmes and options for people over time. 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.”