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Xbox ads move brand into family territory

LONDON - Xbox is moving its image towards family gaming with a new TV campaign backed by the Microsoft brand's biggest marketing spend since its launch in 2005.

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The integrated campaign launched last night with a series of 30-second ads on ITV1, Channel 4 and Sky, focusing on the different entertainment experiences available with the system.

The 'Lego Batman' spot shows the reaction of a young child's face as he plays the game with his father, while the camera pans around to the back of his head, showing an embellished miniature version of the scene.

Other ads follow the same suit, featuring popular game 'Rock Band' and Xbox's movie download program, in which gamers can download high definition films to their consoles.

They mark a change of tone for Xbox in the wake of efforts by rivals such as Nintendo to develop a market among non-traditional gamers such as young girls and families.

Daniel Askill, who has created campaigns for Air France, Hummer Chairs and Cadillac, directed the ads.

The campaign also includes billboards, print ads, as well as interactive TV, cinema, radio and digital marketing around the UK and Ireland, supported by public relations outreach, social networking and direct communication with gamers.

The Xbox website has also undergone a major revamp, which will be revealed tomorrow.

Stephen McGill, head of gaming and entertainment with Xbox UK and Ireland said, "With the single largest investment to date, we're speaking to consumers through a fully integrated consumer marketing campaign aimed at reaching the casual and social segments.

"It's an exciting time for consumers to experience the entertaining world of Xbox 360, and this campaign will embrace product experiences for all interests which celebrate people and tap into how consumers feel to create an emotional engagement with new audiences."

Microsoft dropped the price of the Xbox 360 last week and saw a 32% rise in sales, outselling the Playstation 3, which has seen sales drop by 8%. Earlier this month Microsoft reached a new milestone, confirming it had shifted 6m units across Europe since 2005.

An entry-level Xbox 360 now costs £129.99.

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