MS to spend $500 million on Kinect marketing

Monday, 18th October 2010 13:58 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Microsoft said today it’s to spend around $1 billion marketing Kinect and Windows Mobile 7, with about half the figure going to the former.

Microsoft began planning the blitz 18 months ago with the help of Steven Spielberg, according to the NYP.

“Kinect is the largest, most integrated marketing initiative in Xbox history, bigger than its launch,” said Robert Matthews, general manager of global marketing communications for Xbox. “We are going to be spending millions to launch this globally.”

Kinect will take over YouTube’s home page and have a big presence on Nickelodeon and Disney digital properties.

TV spots will appear on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars next Monday and on Fox’s Glee in the US.

Paper ads will appear in People and InStyle, among others.

In addition, Microsoft’s Xbox team is also organizing a major outdoor event in Times Square, where many of the huge billboards will show Kinect ads.

Some 7,000 US retailers will stay open past midnight on November 4.

There’s no word yet on launch plans for Europe, where Kinect launches on November 10.

The $500 million spend will rival that of the launch of the original Xbox itself – a similar amount was spent when the machine launched in 2000.

Microsoft is to spend an additional $400 million launching Windows Phone 7, according to All Things Digital. The new software hits Europe on October 21.



  1. Blerk

    Wandered into Asda this weekend and thought “hey, where’s all the 360 stuff gone?”. Noticed they’d moved it to a new aisle, went down to take a look… HUGE Kinect display! Hardware posters, descriptions of what it is, all the game boxes out, etc.

    Two seconds later:
    “Look, Daddy! A game with a tiger in it! Can we get it? And dancing! Look, a dancing game!”


    #1 4 years ago
  2. Razor

    Holy shit.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. McLovin85

    So they’ll be turning a profit in 2020 or there abouts…

    #3 4 years ago
  4. JPickford

    I though they’d already sold out via pre-order?

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    Even Sony will spend 100 million dollars for their 3D TV’s as their primary profit thing.

    This is just balls.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Blerk

    They want you to see what you can’t have! :-D

    Nelson’s got the launch line-up. Beware – it’s full of awfulness.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Kaufer

    Paying Justin Bieber is not cheap.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Robo_1

    This is what annoys me. They don’t need the quality, they can afford to just buy their way to success, at least in the short term.

    I suppose it’s no worse than what Sony did to Sega back in the day, what goes around comes around.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. GitForceGemini

    If this thing was actually appealing to gamers, they wouldn’t need to spend half a billion dollars advertising it.

    By going after the Wii-owning populace, Microsoft are literally trying to sell ice to Eskimos.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. back_up

    Money well spent lmoa

    #10 4 years ago
  11. get2sammyb

    Not that it will with that much marketing… But imagine if it bombs. Fucccccccck.

    Still, typical Microsoft. Throw money at it and it will sell.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Gekidami

    They’ll never make this money back. Not off Kinect alone…

    #12 4 years ago
  13. M2Kx


    #13 4 years ago
  14. Razor

    I hope it bombs just to see what happens.

    Little chance of it bombing now though.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. freedoms_stain

    @12, they never expect to make money off the hardware though. It’s the console game tax where they’ll make the money.

    Kinect is supposed to tap into that casual Wii audience, a potential 100 million+ audience who aren’t buying Microsoft taxed software.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. get2sammyb

    @14 – I can still see word of mouth being a big problem for Kinect. If people grab this thing and stories start filtering about it “not working in people’s living room” (which I still think is a huge issue for the tech) — no amount of marketing will shake that.

    We’ll see.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. loki

    Better to make new exclusive Xbox games or buy cool developer studio, than whis and mediocre Fable 2.3 with PC port

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Psychotext

    “If this thing was actually appealing to gamers, they wouldn’t need to spend half a billion dollars advertising it.”

    I’m suddenly reminded of the $200m Modern Warfare 2 launch budget. :D

    #18 4 years ago
  19. The Hindle

    Wow 500m just to sell 3m units? Thats insane, also they could buy a tonne of first party studios with that kind of money, studios that could make them 3 or 4 ips all as big as Halo.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. LordCancer

    how many new games could they have made instead there throwing 500 million at a stupid fucking gimmick…. i guess i should have known better then to buy a stupid fucking xbox.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Psychotext

    “they could buy a tonne of first party studios with that kind of money”

    Microsoft don’t have the best track record on buying developers and having it work out for them. Smarter money would have them spend it all on Gears of War / Mass Effect style projects where they contract one of the big boys to make them exclusive titles.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. LordCancer

    why? mass effect isn’t exclusive… and they payed 50 million for that gta exclusive dlc which is now on ps3 innit? that too me seems like money down the drain. so sony gets most microsoft exclusives and then a myriad of first and second party exclusives… microsoft is out of its league. we get a 500 million dollar marketing campaign for a $150 add on and kids games whoooah thats awesome!

    #22 4 years ago
  23. DrDamn

    3 or 4 really great games aren’t going to do much for their market penetration though are they? They’d likely sell well enough but Microsoft would still be sat there with the same sort of market they had before. Much as I’m not interested in one I can see why they are doing it, and why they think it’s worth the money to invest in it.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Psychotext

    “why? mass effect isn’t exclusive”

    Yes, it is. Mass Effect 2 is another story of course.

    As for paying $50m for GTA DLC… it was a loan. I’m astonished that people are still saying they paid $50m when we’ve had numerous bits of evidence to the contrary. Quite a good job they did too, because we’d likely still be waiting for GTAIV if they hadn’t (Take Two were on the brink of going out of business).

    DrDamn is right of course, I was just simply saying that it would make more sense to pay for a few titles to be developed than risk buying companies and finding themselves with another situation where they end up closing them down a few years later.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Happy Hardon Harry

    You need to laugh at all the fucking douchebags that give the Wii stick, yet some of those gamers will go out and buy Natal and Move on day one for their 360/PS3.

    Fucking hypocrites. The lot of them!

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Kuwabara

    This is why as a GAMING console, the xbox 360 fails! Look at all th money they make, and they use it all to add new features to live again and again and again… and now 500 fucking million to kinnect!!! THEY SHOULD USE THAT MONEY TO INVEST IN FIRST PARTY EXCLUSIVES or THIRD PARTY EXCLUSIVES TO ADD TO THEIR PATHETIC LIST, THE ARSEHOLES !!

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Psychotext

    What’s wrong with beefing up Live? Live is awesome.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. LordCancer

    I never herd anything about a loan. even if it were microsoft has a track record for buying timed dlc. what 3rd parties offer it up out of the goodness of there heart? please. nice point on mass effect except mass effect doesn’t matter only that the series future iterations are not exclusive… which is the whole point. while everyone was laughing at sony they have built one exclusive after another and microsoft considers not abandoning the hardcore is another halo, cod exclusives dlc time release and 500 million for kinect. i never thought’d id see the day when nintendo was more hardcore then microsoft but, here it is. live is horrible. it supposed to be about the games not party chats, twitter, espn.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Psychotext

    No-one said they offered it up out of the goodness of their heart… but anyone who actually thinks they paid $50m for to get a 1 year exclusive on DLC has no idea what things cost in this industry.

    As for Live not being about the games… I’m assuming you’ve never bothered with any of the shitload of games XBLA / XBLIG have given us?

    #29 4 years ago
  30. LordCancer

    cause microsoft is so efficient with the way they spend money… a billion to launch xbox and billion for rrod, 375 million for rare… lol sure microsoft is famous for throwing money away. I mean who could believe anyone would spend 500 million to market kinect.

    there giving them away? lol why would i give them money for any of it? the best stuff is rereleases of old stuff like symphony of the night which on live is an inferior crippled version compared to the original which i still have.

    if your finding stuff on xbla/xblig then good for you man more power to you but I don’t care about most of it.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Psychotext

    The best stuff is re-releases? You don’t care about most of it? I think I’m just going to assume that you’ve never really spent any time with XBLA and just leave it there. Because utterly clueless statements like that, ignoring titles like Braid, Trials HD, Limbo, Geometry Wars, Toy Soldiers, Castle Crashers, Super Meat Boy etc etc etc… just astonishing.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. LordCancer

    i liked toy soldiers and black light tango down. everyone has played geometry wars… the rest of those games you name dropped i have zero interest in. you gonna name drop games id put shadow complex up there….

    #32 4 years ago

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