Since the first launch of the Nintendo Wii, the video games industry has continued to investigate and develop the world of motion-sensor games, causing a new era in the world of video game and players. No longer are games targeted to 13-40 year old male consumers; both male and females, from young children to the elders are using motion sensor games to get active & lose weight.
On November 4, 2010, Microsoft officially launched their motion-sensor product: the Kinect. Using 500 million dollars as their budget, they placed ads on Kellog’s cereal boxes, Pepsi cans, print ads on various magazines. Launch events with celebrities (Ashley Tisdale, David Beckham, Neyo) playing with the device, and giveaways on the Oprah Winfrey show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and even contests with Burger King helped catch the audience’s attention as well. More importantly, they placed commercials in between popular shows such as Glee, and Dancing with the Stars.
Clearly, their marketing strategy is to target the casual market. With commercials that show off the product using catchy music, and participants from all gender and race, Microsoft is trying to promote this gaming console as a new lifestyle to enjoy with friends and family. Given the huge marketing budget, it almost seems impossible for anybody to not have heard about this product.
Although Microsoft is heavily “bashing” our heads with a surplus of commercial and ads about the Kinect, is their efforts and investment paying off? Just by looking at the kinect sensor sales alone, Microsoft has revealed the this product has sold nearly up to 8 million units over the holidays. So, assuming that they have sold 8 million units, let’s do the math:
Price of the Kinect sensor: $150
$150 x 8 million = $1,200,000,000
$1,200,000,000 – 500,000,000 = $700,000,000
Phew. That’s a LOT of money, no? But, was the 500 million dollar investment REALLY necessary, or could they have spent less and earned more money in their pocket?