Microsoft Advertising announced that Chevrolet, Sprint and T-Mobile USA Inc. plan to launch Kinect for Xbox 360-related advertising campaigns, sponsorships and in-game product placements commencing Nov. 4, 2010.
Unedited press release follows:
Kinect for Xbox 360 Connects Advertisers and Consumers
Chevrolet, Sprint and T-Mobile get in the game.
REDMOND, Wash. and NEW YORK, Sept. 27 — Brands are jumping in to a new era of engaging and connecting with consumers. Microsoft Advertising today announced at Advertising Week 2010 that a full lineup of forward-thinking companies is bringing its brands to Kinect for Xbox 360, the new controller-free gaming and entertainment experience that responds to body movement and transforms how people play, entertain and connect with family members and friends. Chevrolet, Sprint and T-Mobile USA Inc. will each launch respective ad campaigns throughout the Kinect console experience, “Kinect Sports,” “Kinect Adventures” and “Kinect Joy Ride” game titles.
“With Kinect for Xbox 360, we are removing the last barrier to interactive television — the controller,” said Mark Kroese, general manager of the Interactive Entertainment Advertising Business Group at Microsoft. “We have seen tremendous momentum from the advertising community, including big campaigns from Chevrolet, Sprint and T-Mobile. These visionary marketers are leading the entertainment revolution with ground-breaking campaigns that are highly engaging.”
Advertising campaigns will commence with the much-anticipated North America launch of Kinect on Nov. 4:
* Chevrolet. As announced in June, Chevrolet is the first automaker to launch a multiscreen ad campaign that allows consumers to test-drive Chevrolet vehicles in “Kinect Joy Ride,” the first controller-free racing game from Microsoft Game Studios. When Kinect for Xbox 360 launches this fall, consumers will have the opportunity to take the test-drive concept to a new level by driving the Chevrolet Volt in “Kinect Joy Ride.” Also, after viewing the video advertisement in-dash on Xbox LIVE or on the Web, consumers will be able to unlock and download Chevrolet Cruze, Camaro and Corvette cars to drive in the game. Chevrolet will then kick off the new year with an ad campaign in the Kinect Hub showcasing the same vehicles.
* Sprint. As a longstanding and pioneering Xbox LIVE advertiser, Sprint understands the value of connecting with the Xbox community. This fall, Sprint is sponsoring the launch of “Kinect Adventures” with a co-branded retail experience on Xbox LIVE and a sponsored contest in which “Kinect Adventures” players have the chance to get their pictures featured on Xbox LIVE. Consumers attending New York Comic Con can play “Kinect Adventures” at the Sprint booth.
* T-Mobile. Another Xbox advertising pioneer, T-Mobile is taking advantage of the immersive user experience in “Kinect Sports” with fixed product placement throughout the games including volleyball net signage, custom bowling balls and foam fingers held by the arena audience. T-Mobile is further supporting the game title through a sponsorship on the Xbox 360 console. Xbox members can visit a website on the dashboard to access exclusive video content and participate in the first launch weekend Play & Win contest with prizes including Family Gold memberships. Also, during the holidays T-Mobile will support “Kinect Sports” Play & Win programs with two Xbox Family Game Nights in November and January.
The Kinect platform provides an innovative way for brands to connect with consumers by enabling them to physically explore and engage with branded content through voice and gesture. While creating brand and consumer interaction on a new level, Microsoft works closely with its partners to ensure it delivers engaging experiences that are relevant and add value to the entertainment experience itself.
Kinect for Xbox 360
Formerly called “Project Natal,” Kinect for Xbox 360 delivers a whole new way to play, with controller-free games and entertainment. For advertisers, it provides an innovative way to connect with consumers by enabling them to physically explore and engage with a brand through voice and gesture. A special sensor recognizes players and responds to their movements and gestures. Kinect can also take pictures during gameplay, which players will be able to upload to their favorite social sites when the game ends.
About Microsoft Advertising
Microsoft Advertising provides advertisers and publishers with media, tools and services designed to drive deep and profitable engagement with their audiences. This includes a global media network of Microsoft properties such as MSN, Windows Live, Xbox LIVE, and partner properties such as WSJ.com and Verizon. The Microsoft Advertiser and Publisher Suites simplify planning and management of campaigns and content, offering a range of services that help advertisers and publishers untangle the complexities of digital media and get more out of their marketing and content investments. Microsoft Advertising makes buying and selling media simple, smart and cost-effective across media and devices spanning 42 markets and 21 languages. Visit http://advertising.microsoft.com for more information.