Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Microsoft's Marketing Plan for Kinect - Bored Housewives

There is no secret that Microsoft has put quite a marketing campaign together for their new Wii rip-off add-on to the 360. I originally figured they would take a page from the Nintendo playbook and gear it towards children under the age of 13, maybe create some games with cute, furry characters that the player could use the Kinect equipment to maneuver and manipulate. However, they decided to go another route - bored housewives.

Oprah loves herself some Kinect
It is no secret that unbelievably wealthy people stick together and who is more wealthy than Oprah and Microsoft. Microsoft contributed a ton of 360's and Kinects to give away on Oprah's show. Of course, the bored housewives in the audience had absolutely no idea what it was they were getting, they screamed and cheered like they were just given that free trip to Australia.

Microsoft payed recruited Oprah to do the giveaway for multiple reasons. The first is to make the super soccer moms of the world think that the XBox 360 is as family oriented as the Wii. "If Oprah says it's good for my kids, it has to be," mentality of way too many in this world is just what Microsoft could use. It is coming on the holiday season, and a perfect time to buy a 360 and Kinect for their kid as a present. Mom will be thinking that Junior will be saving the Princess, running around as Sonic, casting pixilated spells using Bonk's large melon when in fact Junior will be tea bagging classmates in Halo Reach (and I am sure Junior will not be complaining).

Another reason to use "the Oprah crew" is to promote the fitness portion of the system. Why diet and go to the gym when you can just do your workout at home and have it be super, duper fun? Microsoft wants to cash in on the Wii Fit cash cow. The big problem here, a lot of people have already invested (and seen how worthless) Wii Fit actually is and may not be up to drop another $400+ to join the exercise equipment graveyard in their basement with the likes of Wii Fit and the treadmill acting as a clothesline.

"Yeah!!!!! I have no clue what this thing is, but it is FREE!!!!!"

The home shopping network loves them some Kinect
Microsoft also targeted the HSN looking for that housewife demographic. Let's take a look at some little things that we can hear about this product according to the HSN.

A.) it is going to be the biggest seller this shopping season...the...biggest...seller this shopping season. B.) you don't need controllers, hence even you soccer moms can play (they even discuss about the confusion of all those buttons and you can, "just throw them away"). C.) You can use "XBox Live" (they give an amazing discussion of your little world you get with XBox Live) to check your Facebook and Twitter. You can rent movies and listen to music.

Now, to be fair to Microsoft, the hardcore gamer demographic would be a tough sell with this technology for, at the very least, it is a Wii clone and most the hardcore community find anything Wii-esque to be below them. But, is Microsoft's hope to become a large part of the latte drinking soccer mom demographic? The new commercial can feature several women sitting around Starbucks discussing spa weekends and their Kinect.

Anyway, the good news that will come out of this...some kids will end up getting a 360 for Christmas because mom thinks that it will be pure family entertainment that she can use to connect with her kids, do her Facebooking, and workout all from the comforts of her living room. And, for the first month or two everyone in the house will play it. After the novelty wears off for mom and dad, the kids can then use it to play the types of games that the 360 should be used for...beating prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto.

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