Nielsen to Measure Effectiveness of Advertising on Xbox Live Interactive TV Show, "1 vs. 100 Live"

--Pilot Test Part of Longer-Term Microsoft-Nielsen Collaboration to Measure Xbox Advertising

In a posting on a corporate blog last week, Microsoft's general manager of marketing and advertising strategy, Mark Kroese, announced that the company is teaming with the Nielsen Company on a pilot test to measure the effectiveness of in-game advertising. The test is launching with the second season of "1 vs. 100 Live," the avatar-driven interactive TV version of the Endemol-developed "1 vs. 100" game show format, that Microsoft offers on its Xbox Live service. (Note: Like a regular linear-TV game show, "1 vs. 100 Live" has real hosts--albeit represented via avatars--airs in regularly scheduled timeslots, has seasons, includes commercial breaks, and allows participants to win prizes, including Microsoft Points, which can be redeemed for Xbox Live content downloads. The "1 vs. 100" format features a single contestant--the "one"--competing against 100 other contestants--the "mob"--to correctly answer multiple-choice trivia questions: each question is first posed to the "mob" outside of the "one's" hearing, so that they can lock in their answers, and is then posed to the "one." If the "one" answers the question correctly, all the members of the "mob" who answered it incorrectly are eliminated. In the Xbox Live version of the format, the "one" wins Microsoft Points for each correct answer and, if he or she succeeds in eliminating all the members of the mob, he or she can win up to 10,000 Microsoft Points. Individual members of the "mob," meanwhile, can win prizes, including Microsoft Points and Xbox Live arcade games, for answering questions correctly, outlasting the majority of their fellow "mob" members, and outlasting the "one." Xbox Live subscribers who want to participate in one of the show's live episodes are selected to play as the "one," as members of the "mob," or as mere audience members, based on how frequently and how well they play the live and practice versions of the show.)

"The Xbox Live advertising group has teamed up with the Nielsen Company to launch a pilot test, beginning with Season 2 of "1 vs. 100," to obtain content, channel and ad-specific metrics and identify who was playing the game and saw a particular advertisement," Kroese wrote. "This is the first time content delivered through a video game console network will be capable of being measured by Nielsen's television, online and video game metering technologies, such as the Nielsen people meter. Our goal is to ultimately provide advertisers with concrete Gross Rating Points (GRP's) and Targeted Rating Points (TRP's) to maximize their media spend. I'm really looking forward to this effort--it's a huge milestone in the evolution of games and entertainment advertising and a great benefit for our advertisers. We've made a substantial investment of time and resources to launch this pilot. Yet, as we bring Xbox Live into the TV advertising ecosystem, we feel that it is imperative to bring valid measurement capabilities along with it. This is a critical first step in doing that." Kroese also stated that, after the pilot test concludes (note: the second season of "1 vs. 100 Live" premiered November 19th and is scheduled to last 14 weeks), Microsoft will "continue to collaborate with Nielsen to learn how electronic measurement, panels and census data can be applied to additional Xbox Live media types such as TV, video, [and] social media."

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