Sometime this fall Microsoft will launch a campaign that will allow gamers to virtually drive the soon-to-launch Chevrolet Volt from their couches.
Chevrolet is the first advertiser to sign on to utilize Kinect for Xbox 360, Microsoft’s much hyped controller-free gaming platform. Originally dubbed “Project Natal,” Kinect enables gamers to use their entire bodies to play games without a controller, with the Xbox 360 console reading their gestures and then replicating them on screen.
Starting this fall, the Volt campaign will kick off on Xbox Live, Microsoft’s Web-based gamer hub. There, after watching a Chevrolet Volt video ad, users will unlock a Kinect Joy Ride ad, via which they can test drive the soon-to-roll-out electric car—driving the car as they would any other, only with an imaginary, virtual steering wheel. Microsoft and Chevy executives unveiled the new campaign on Tuesday (June 22) at he 2010 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
While in-game ad placements are nothing new, particularly in the autos category, the Kinect technology allows gamers to experience, and virtually touch brands in a way that was previously impossible. That should prove a powerful differentiator for Microsoft Advertising, which has clearly made its three-screen capabilities a major strategical focus.
“Kinect allows us to bring the excitement of the showroom to the living rooms of our customers,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vp, Chevrolet Marketing. “It’s a way for us to replicate the experience of physically engaging with a product that is essential to the customer’s purchasing decision.