An “Invitation” to the XBOX One

On November 22, 2013 Microsoft released the XBOX One. The release of a next generation console is a hard transition for gamers and hard to sell because people are hesitant to purchase it because they are unsure of what the aspects are or what other console systems will become available that year. Microsoft decided to create an interesting way to advertise and invite players into the world of the next generation system the XBOX One.

xboxoneOne month before launch, on October 25, Microsoft released a T.V. advertisement that they called “The Invitation.” In the ad there were several appearances of characters that would be featured in the games that would be dropping with the XBOX One. These games include Ryse son of Rome, Titanfall, Forza, and Dead Rising 3. The games released initially with the console were exclusive to the XBOX One. Throughout the advertisement game characters motion towards people, inviting them into the world of the XBOX One.

The advertisement was extremely clever in finding a creative and innovative way to get people interested in a next generation system. The commercial invites people of all ages and occupations to get a XBOX One and become immersed. The opening scene of the commercial is set in a business meeting, indicating that even middle-aged businessmen can enjoy the XBOX.

At the time of launch, the big question for gamers was whether to buy the XBOX One or the PlayStation 4, and right before the holiday season it was an even bigger question for parents. The XBOX One and the PlayStation 4 were both released right before the 2013 holiday season. The Playstation 4 sold 4.2 million units in 2013 compared to the XBOX One, which sold 3 million units.

Microsoft decided to gear up for 2014 by releasing another Commercial for the XBOX One. The second ad was similar to the invitation commercial, but they also create a way to make the next generation system feel more realistic. The commercial featured the XBOX One exclusive game Ryse son of Rome.

The key line in this commercial is “if it was any more real, it would be real.” Microsoft is trying to present the next generation system as a system that is as real as real life. Throughout the commercial the man gets cuts on his body and whenever he gets a cut the commercial flashes to action scenes in the game. At the end of the commercial they show a scene of the game where a Roman soldier is putting on his helmet, and the guy in the mirror gets pumped and then returns back to game. Microsoft is appealing to people who are uncertain about the XBOX One by claiming that it is incredibly realistic because it is a next generation system.

XBOX One sales did not increase until they dropped the price. People were clearly interested in the XBOX One by their creative campaign, but the price was apparently an issue for many consumers.

Daniel Hampe

7 thoughts on “An “Invitation” to the XBOX One

  1. I really like the line, “If it were any more real, it would be real.” Since Microsoft was losing the next gen battle to Sony, they had to find a creative way to get more people to buy it. What I think they are trying to get across is that the Xbox One could be a step into virtual reality. By showing how realistic each game is, it makes the consumer really feel like they are inside of the game. While I have yet to get an Xbox One, I have heard really good reviews about it. Personally, I would buy after seeing these ads. They make the games come to life.

  2. I felt that this campaign really tried to play off how realistic the next gen of gaming was supposed to be. But I do feel like that claim might be a bit of a stretch for the average consumer. I would really like to see a comparison between how the PlayStation was marketed versus the Xbox 1 and compare that to sales. A stat that’s probably not available, but would be cool to see, would be conversion rates of PS3 players to Xbox 1 players after the campaign.

  3. I have never been an Xbox user, but their campaign videos would definitely make me consider buying the Xbox One. Microsoft knows that since their new console is slightly more expensive than the Playstation 4, they needed to show users how amazing their graphics are. I think they nailed it this campaign, but I still bought a PS4!

  4. This is an interesting piece. I find it interesting that they have not tried to take a shot at Playstation in their marketing campaign. At least, none that I have seen. So they are going for game immersion, I wonder how heavily they are relying on the Kinect for that aspect? I know that the original price was $100 more than the Playstation 4 because of the non-optional inclusion of the Kinect. I wonder if Microsoft regrets making the Kinect mandatory with the purchase of the Xbox One?

  5. I’d like to see what Xbox is doing (or will do) to combat and win over PC gamers. If realism in graphics is their main selling point I can’t imagine a PC gamer being won over by such an argument. I think popularity of console gaming in general is going to begin to take huge dive in the future. To me the only appeal it offers is the social aspects of physical couch multiplaying (something become less and less of a norm). As technology advances much more quickly and physical copies become a thing of the past I cant help but see the ad campaigns from both Microsoft and Sony as an effort grasping at straws.

  6. I think this lack in sales is partially to blame due to their lack of knowledge on what their customers are okay with. ( The whole” your Xbox is always watching and you can’the buy games used”) I think that directly pushed perspective buyers in to Sony’s arms. I think these are great ads but I think they became more damage control for the company so that they didn’t completely lose all their sales to Sony. In that instance they were wildly successful.

  7. With the XBOX being more expensive than the PS4 I think Microsoft has made the right plays in their advertising. I also like how they have not shied away from targeting middle-aged males along with the usual millennials.

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