Microsoft backs Kinect with £300m global push

Microsoft is taking on Nintendo and Sony PlayStation with a $500m (£300m) global launch campaign for Kinect, its motion-sensitive controller system for the Xbox 360, ahead of the key Christmas sales period.

Microsoft: massive Kinect campaign
Microsoft: massive Kinect campaign

Kinect allows users to make movements or use their voice to interact with the console, without having to use a traditional controller. Microsoft’s intention is that the launch will enable it to steal share from the market-leading Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation Move.

The first TV ads break in the UK tomorrow (Thursday), ahead of Kinect’s launch on 10 November. The ad shows consumers playing Kinect-compatible games. It ends with the players portrayed as part of a game, with the tagline: ‘You are the controller.’

Microsoft will also run a 60-second spot during Saturday’s edition of The X Factor.

The ad was created by McCann Erickson, while Universal McCann handled media planning and buying. Accompanying digital activity was devised by AKQA. This comprises takeovers of websites including MTV, Marie Claire and Hotmail after the launch. Kinect will also be promoted on 127m packs of Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero. Current activity surrounding the launch includes a radio promotion on Galaxy, a trial roadshow and a window display in Selfridges.

The campaign, described by Stephen McGill, UK director for Xbox and entertainment at Microsoft, as its ‘largest, longest and most significant’, forms part of its strategy to broaden Xbox’s audience beyond hardcore gaming enthusiasts to families, women and children.