“The mouse and keyboard are not natural; they’re learned,” said Microsoft’s GM for advertising and online in APAC, Adam Anger, explaining the company’s goal to make interacting with technology as intuitive and natural as possible. That leads to deeper engagement, or what co-presenter Guy Hearn, chief innovation officer for Asia Pacific at Omnicom Media Group, called the "immersive future".
Along with the cool graphics and detailed body-tracking the Xbox offers, the two presenters emphasised how Microsoft is also using the machine to learn about the audience and “connect with them in the moments that matter.”
That proved to be a bit of a theme throughout the TechTalk presentation today, as the pair discussed reaching customers when they are in the right mindset or most engaged.
Small data matters, said Hearn talking about how advertisers might be able to leverage information from Xbox users. One example was integration with Skype. Where calls originate from and go to could be the basis for an airline offer. What time of day you play games could also be an important factor for ad placements. Small packets of data imply behaviors and suggest buying habits. “Demographics don’t tell us anything interesting,” Hearn said. What people actually do, how they behave, is far more important and can make advertising much more personal and therefore effective.
Demonstrating how deep that measurement can go, Anger walked through the different ways Xbox Kinect can track body movements, calculating force and exertion as well as simple gestures. It even goes down to micro facial movements that allow it to calculate your heart rate. All this gets at understanding the level of engagement that a gamer has. And gamers, he stressed are not just geeky teenage boys; they are young, working adults, and there are about 48 million of them online every day in Asia (compared to near 30 million per day in North America).
‘Multiscreen’ means more than mobile, Anger said. How we interact with the big screen in the living room is changing, as is how advertisers learn about how we use it. And with 50 billion connected objects online by 2015, Hearn remarked, “today will be the slowest rate of change you will ever see for the rest of your life.”
The Spikes Asia team interviewed Hearn for further insights into gaming and technology: