The Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Conference in Phoenix on October 5th saw a young Microsoft marketing lad with lots of good buzzword training but apparently zero experience of dealing with video games consumers shoving his entire leg into his own gob.
The young man is one Yusuf Mehdi, a corporate VP-marketing and strategy for Microsoft (there are loads of those). He was talking about how NuAds (yup, advertising) will work on Xbox One. He hinted that "perhaps the biggest potential impact is... the possibility of making data from Xbox available for market."
To be fair to Yusuf that was attributed to him by AdAge
. But the mag also reported him saying:
"We are trying to bridge some of the world between online and offline. That's a little bit of a holy grail in terms of how you understand the consumer in that 360 degrees of their life. We have a pretty unique position at Microsoft because of what we do with digital, as well as more and more with television because of Xbox. It's early days, but we're starting to put that together in more of a unifying way, and hopefully at some point we can start to offer that to advertisers broadly."
He further added fire to the fire by stating, "It could have a big impact on pricing (of adverts). AdAge clarified that he mentioned this "given Xbox One's capacity for seeing whether people are paying attention or how their bodies respond to the ads, said the marketer, who wasn't authorized by his company to speak for attribution."
So, it's well known that gamers don't like having their pockets picked for money, so uproar occurred forcing. Microsoft has already pissed off enough people with the early Mattrick strategy for Xbox One so... Albert Penello, Director of Product Planning for the company took to NeoGaf
to fight those fires:
"NuAds by definition is simply interactive advertising done on the platform. Using the functions of the console and Kinect to interact vs. just watching a spot. There's nothing particularly interesting happening here unless you're in the advertising business, and we've done a few on Xbox 360 today.
"What I think you're asking about is an interview done earlier in the year where someone was talking about how some of the new Xbox One Kinect features *could* be used in advertising - since we can see expressions, engagement, etc. and how that might be used to target advertising. This is the point that seems to draw some controversy.
"First - nobody is working on that. We have a lot more interesting and pressing things to dedicate time towards. It was an interview done speculatively, and I'm not aware of any active work in this space.
"Second - if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn't happen without the user having control over it. Period.
"Two examples of how we deal with similar things today:
"First, Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically. There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like being able to be auto-recognized at a friend's. I get asked for that feature a lot. But, for privacy reasons, your facial data doesn't leave the console.
"Second: You'll see us do some things around Skype that freezes the video when Skype is not in focus (meaning, it's not the primary app). If you go back to the home screen, or launch another app, we actually stop the video stream. We do this so the user can't even ACCIDENTALLY have the video stream going on in the background.
"I'll say this - we take a lot of heat around stuff we've done and I can roll with it. Some of it is deserved. But preventing Kinect from being used inappropriately is something the team takes very seriously. "
But yeah, expect advertisers not to want to lose this sort of rich data.