It’s been a year since Microsoft launched Kinect for Xbox 360, a retail phenomenon that set a Guinness World Record for the fastest-selling consumer device ever. Eight million units flew off store shelves in the first couple months alone. The initial advertising showcased Kinect’s motion-controlled gaming technology in a fast-moving TV spot with users playing games, dancing, and working out to a catchy beat.
Since then, Microsoft has been seeking a larger role for Kinect, wanting to move it beyond entertainment. The company has encouraged others to find new applications for the technology in areas like medicine and education. In June, Microsoft released a non-commercial version of its Kinect SDK for hackers to play around with, and just this week the company said it would make available a commercial version of the software early next year so businesses can find other new uses.
This new spot, "The Kinect Effect," from twofifteenmccann in San Francisco, picks up from last year’s "You are the Controller" ad. It starts with Kinect’s entertainment applications and then moves the technology into areas like music, education, and medicine. The commercial does a good job in communicating Kinect’s visionary potential and, in doing so, infers a larger image message underscoring Microsoft’s open-source encouragement of experimentation. It also feels a little Apple-esque. In part that’s because of the spot’s sophisticated simplicity and lovely cover of “Where Is My Mind?” by the Pixies. But any similarities might also reflect the opportunity to put a human face on a technology giant, the sort of chance you don’t often get with enterprise software.
Client: Microsoft Xbox
Chief Creative Officer: Scott Duchon
Creative Directors: Paul Caiozzo, James Robinson
Art Director: Nik Daum
Copywriter: Neil Bruce
Director of Integrated Production: Tom Wright
Production Company: Anonymous Content
Director: Malcolm Venville