Ad of the month: December 2011

Summary – Microsoft release a new television advert to show the world what the future is for the Kinect.

The fight for Christmas advert of the year is almost as vicious as the fight for Christmas number one and the prize at the end is well worth the months of hard work.  Every year in the advertising world there is one advert that gets the most publicity, the most column inches and  is the most widely talked about and that is the John Lewis advert.  Any advert with a very cute kid in it is always going to tug at the heart strings especially if it tells a beautiful story with a surprising twist.

This is just about everyone’s advert of the season (if not ad of the year) and it would have been mine to if it wasn’t for a brilliant last minute entry from Microsoft. I’m not usually a fan of their adverts, I find them a little too cheesy and you’ll find they’re almost always imported from America. This wouldn’t usually be a problem but I believe if you release an advert you should always tailor it for the country you’re releasing it in – or at least sync the lips and voice together most imports look like badly dubbed Japanese movies. Apart from that I love everything that Microsoft stands for, their slogan for Windows is perhaps one of my favourite pieces of copy – Windows a life without walls – and it is this simplicity that makes their new advert for Xbox Kinect so brilliant.

The idea of motion control isn’t new and Nintendo have been the front runner in this genre ever since releasing the Nintendo Wii. But with great success comes even greater competitors who will stop at nothing to steal your number one slot. Although unlike Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have had a hard time convincing their fans to put down their controller since their consoles are aimed at gamers whereas the Wii is all about family fun. So it was about time someone showed that their technology had a bit of sustenance to it. As a gamer and avid tech geek I have been waiting for something that could break the boundaries of reality and dip into what we have only seen in film. The possibility to play instruments without them actually being there, to scan through a persons body for medical research, improve learning, expand our knowledge and control a robot on Mars?

The advert has to be taken with a pinch of salt and the word “possibility” should be underlined severely in red. The Xbox Kinect can not do these things, yet, but they are in development. Industry professionals are taking the time to create something truly special from something that started as a one up to Nintendo. At the end of the day this ad is more surprising than a child giving a gift at Christmas. It has given us an insight into the future of technology and given Microsoft a smug grin because perhaps this year we’ll bring out our newly bought, inspiringly brilliant, future cello playing Kinect out its box rather than dust off the Nintendo Wii to watch mum shake it like she’s Lady Gaga.

Whilst Microsoft bank your £109 remember that when you open your Kinect on Christmas day that you are holding a piece of the future in your hands. All be it you can’t preform heart surgery but you can slay a dragon with your fingertips and turn your console on and off with your voice. The immediate might not be as exciting but when you see the ad again in January you can match the Microsoft grin with one of your own and say to your Sony fanboy friends “I have one of those.” Bragging rights included in every box.

Watch the full advert here.

    • Mari McTear
    • December 5th, 2011

    Love this. Really insightful and interesting. But……still love the John Lewis Ad a bit better. xx

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