Dear Microsoft, I fixed your social marketing campaign for you

Last week JJ & I stumbled across the Hamburg leg of the Kinect Tour – a Roadshow to promote the new Xbox motion control games system “Kinect” (formerly Project Natal). We impressed by the tech, but less impressed by Microsoft’s attempt to add social media to the experience.

Kinect_for_xbox_360-4
It actually works

 

Firstly the bit you probably want to know: it’s a cool toy, and it works really well. We played a Mario Kart style cartoon racer, some weird activity adventure thing and JJ put her Poker Face on to dance to meat wearing mentalist Lady Ga Ga. The system responded well, the avatars mapped to what we were doing pretty instantly… it worked. However, I couldn’t help but feel that everything was a demo still, a proof of concept. The release games are still at the “what does thing do?” stage and nothing we saw or talked about seemed overly immersive. But it is a really, really cool toy.

 

But the marketing is broken 

 

The second bit, and the bit that really got to me was that Microsoft dropped the ball on the marketing. All that expense, travelling the world in a special trailer made up like someone’s living room, and right at the end they fluffed it. Here’s why: