The first Xbox One ad is here, and it does exactly what it needs to do: Ignore gamers
Microsoft focused on the multimedia functions of the Xbox One during the console’s first reveal, and that strategy has carried over to the first commercial for the hardware. Before we get any further, let’s watch it together and then we can discuss what we think.
We’re a little over two months away from the system’s launch, and it’s likely that most of the day one hardware allocation has already been spoken for by eager pre-order customers. While you’re likely to be the most interested in games if you’re reading the Penny Arcade Report, this commercial does a good job of showing the hardware being used by real people in novel ways.
Think of what’s being shown here. If you’re a football fan, the Xbox One has you covered with all these neat features: You can play fantasy football, you can pull up information on players, you can Skype your friends to discuss the game, you can use your voice to interact with the game as it’s being played. Pretty cool, right?
Hell, fans of professional football may be interested in this product without even being aware that it’s also a gaming console, and Microsoft is likely fine with that outcome. There is plenty of time to grab the gamers before launch, and definitely time to launch a gaming-centric ad campaign before Christmas, so this is a good time to begin to plant the seeds of an Xbox One purchase in the heads of a wider audience.
We’ve talked about Microsoft’s marketing challenge before, but this commercial does what it needs to do: The system is shown making your sports-watching experience richer, not just different. This is what a good ad should do, and I tip my hat, even if we’re far from the target audience.