Brainient, the interactive video ad platform, has launched a new ad format that makes use of Microsoft Xbox’s Kinect, which allows users to use hand gestures to interact with the content they’re watching (see demo below). The format is the first of its kind and allows the user to interact with the ad without the use of a remote control, keypad or touch screen. The first campaign to make use of the technology will be the interactive trailers for the The Hobbit, which will enable viewers to swipe, zoom-in/out or wave to interact with the video, allowing them to read the cast’s biographies, watch ‘making of’ videos or flip through a photo gallery.
Up until now, Brainient have focused mainly on delivering interactive video advertising to PCs, tablets and smartphones. However, the company is now expanding into connected TV, but in doing so they were presented with the challenge of making interactive advertising on connected TV a more intuitive and enjoyable experience.
While connected TV ads are (for the most part) enjoying high engagement rates, there is a feeling in the industry that we’re enjoying a honeymoon period during which consumers are still curious and are therefore more likely to experiment with the new functionality. However, the reality is that interacting with most remote controls is still often a cumbersome and frustrating experience. In contrast, Kinect makes interacting with the ad a fun experience in its own right, and — certainly in terms of ease of use — it is quite possibly the best interactive advertising experience currently available on connected TV at the moment. This morning we filmed Brainient’s CEO, Emi Gal, who gave VAN a quick overview of the new format:
So is gesture-based advertising capable of delivering sufficient scale for brand advertising? The answer of course depends on what you’re trying to do, but the stats look promising, particularly for international advertisers. At the beginning of 2012, Microsoft said they had sold 18 million Kinect units alone, and in 2011 the product entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest selling gadget of all time when it clocked up 8 million sales in just 60 days.
According to Microsoft’s figures for May 2012, 67 million Xbox units had been sold internationally in total, and Microsoft say the device is now more commonly used for video and music consumption than it is for gaming. Throw into the mix the fact that Kinect for Windows launched earlier this year, and that gesture functionality is going to be incorporated into various connected TVs, and it quickly becomes clear that gesture-based advertising is something that forward-looking brands and agencies need to be experimenting with.
Screenshots from Brainient’s interactive ad for The Hobbit (click to enlarge):