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Brief Published: 10 Sep 2012

Sony Patents Gamified Ads


A new patent application by multinational electronics conglomerate Sony could see static television advertising become a thing of the past as interactive, gamified ads request not only our attention, but also our participation.

According to the patent, Sony is proposing new interactive software that streams to voice recognition- and kinetic-enabled screens between pre-cut ads asking the viewer to get involved. In the company’s case proposal, an ad for McDonald’s requires the viewer to play a game with a motion detecting hand device – in which an errant pickle must be thrown back into a delicious burger for the ad to be completed.

The case study suggests additional gaming options (such as shooting, racing and fighting games) that can be applied to any brand advertising. Rewards can be offered for participation and social media engagement can also be implemented.

Viewers will also have the ability to skip the entire process and return to their programme by simply saying the word McDonald’s at the beginning of the ad.

Many questions remain unanswered regarding the proposal, such as how long these experiences are expected to last, how it will affect television network schedules and what the experience will be for viewers that don’t buy the shiny new kit.

Regardless, the proposal will take on-screen advertising to the next level by corralling technologies that we already have (motion sensing, voice recognition, augmented reality, wi-fi) to make the experience of watching ads more engaging (or more annoying). Watch this space.