(By Will Burns)
“There’s no reason why a user couldn’t skip the television part altogether and jump straight to shopping. If in the market for golf clubs, you say, “Xbox, shop for golf clubs,” and it pulls up all the brands of golf clubs there are and displays them in scrolling fashion on the television. You say, “Titleist,” and up comes the pre-prepared fulfillment site for Titleist golf clubs (product demo, testimonials, Tour pros talking about them, etc.). Maybe you get the list down to two brands and tell it to do a side-by-side comparison.“
The new Xbox One video game console promises to be a revolution in home entertainment when it launches, but I predict a bigger revolution following the launch. One that will take advantage of the key features of Xbox One – the cable integration, the Kinect, the multitasking, and the voice commands – and one that will transform the living room into a realtime “ad shopping” experience.
Let’s first understand what the device will be able to do as it relates to TV viewing. First, you’ll be able to port your cable subscription through the Xbox, overriding the often clunky cable-box interfaces. Add to that the integration of the Xbox Kinect – the “eyes” and “ears” of the device – which means no more TV remote because you can just call out the channel using voice commands and it responds immediately. And the fact a user can now multi-task by calling up a TV show on one side of the screen while web content appears next to it means enormous innovation can begin through these juxtapositions.
The killer application for all this, as presented at the Xbox unveiling, is the juxtaposition of your fantasy sports statistics alongside watching a live football game. The stats update in realtime, as the games are played, and as you watch. Pretty cool.
All TV Will Be Direct-response TV.
Okay, let’s push this platform a little, and let’s say an ad for a new John Grisham novel comes on the TV. No reason why Microsoft MSFT +0.57% couldn’t allow you to shout, “More info,” at any point during the ad which would automatically drop the ad into a smaller screen on the left while a custom-made fulfillment web site pops up next to it. The ad pauses when it ends (also pausing the show you’re watching) and allows you to navigate the pop-up site for more information on the new Grisham novel. With your profile pre-loaded with your credit card information, you can shout, “Purchase,” and the book is automatically downloaded to your Kindle. And on with the show.
Or a Volkswagen ad comes on that catches your eye. Same drill, only this time VW decides to provide you with a longer form video of the car that gives far more detail about the car, buttons to learn the gas mileage, pricing, where you can buy it, promotions, etc.
What does this all mean? The role of the TV spot changes from convincing people to intriguing people, which means TV advertising, with less weight to carry per spot, can only get better, more interesting, and more creative. The fulfillment site will do the heavy lifting of convincing. And I’m certain Microsoft would garner some of the financial action for sales made on its platform just like iTunes does when a song is sold.
Stop And Shop.
But it gets better when you think of the branded entertainment possibilities. What if you’re watching a Mad Men episode and you say, “Xbox, pause. What is Don Draper drinking?” And up comes the fulfillment site for an Old Fashioned, with the ingredients and preferred brand of bourbon. At which point you can ask the Xbox to see if any of your local package stores carries that brand.
Or you’re watching a basketball game and you want to know what brand of sneakers Lebron is wearing. Or where Chris Wallace from Fox News gets his ties. Now virtually any product in any scene in any movie can be stopped and shopped.
Or Just Shop.
There’s no reason why a user couldn’t skip the television part altogether and jump straight to shopping. If in the market for golf clubs, you say, “Xbox, shop for golf clubs,” and it pulls up all the brands of golf clubs there are and displays them in scrolling fashion on the television. You say, “Titleist,” and up comes the pre-prepared fulfillment site for Titleist golf clubs (product demo, testimonials, Tour pros talking about them, etc.). Maybe you get the list down to two brands and tell it to do a side-by-side comparison.
Know Your Audience ADNC -3.07%.
Now let’s go a step further, beyond what the Xbox One can do today. We know the Kinect technology is so sensitive it can detect a person’s heart beat. That means facial recognition can’t be far behind. That being the case, the Xbox One will one day know the genders and rough ages of those watching and then be able to serve up appropriate advertising for that mix of people. Even if it’s just one person.
I’m only scratching the surface here, but you get the idea.
Microsoft did not mention any of this during their Xbox One debut, but it doesn’t take a futurist to see where it’s going. Assuming we can get past the privacy issues that some of these ideas will raise, this is going to be big. The time is now for all of us in marketing and advertising to start planning for this exciting interactive sell. I’ll wager that the ideas marketers come up with to take advantage will be as exciting as the technology itself.
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”