LAS VEGAS -- Interactive ads on the XBox gaming system are delivering a 37% engagement rate, according to data released this week by Microsoft. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Beet.TV's Ashley Swartz connected with Ross Honey, General Manager of XBox Entertainment and Advertising, who sheds more light on these just-released figures in an interview with Beet.TV.
Microsoft launched the interactive ads, dubbled "NUads," last fall with early marketers including Toyota, Unilever, and Samsung. The ads invite user participation via polls and other forms of interaction. Based on the first wave of spots with Subway and Toyota, XBox found that 37% of viewers engaged with the ads when prompted to vote, and of those 71% voted in the polls. Also, 97% of those who voted waited to see their votes appear in the final tallies, underscoring the community nature of the XBox service.
"If an advertiser puts the right question there that engages the user on a personal level, then the community wants to share that feedback and they want to see how their responses lined up," he tells us. That feedback can in turn be used by brands for new campaigns or product development.
Next steps in interactive TV ads will likely come in new creative formats, Honey says in this video interview. "What we've done in games shows we can drive a whole new level of interaction, so we are just scratching the surface," he says.
Ashley Swartz is a principal of the New York-based consultancy Furious Minds. She is former head of the interactive television practice at Digitas. She is a regular contributor to Beet.TV.