Based on a patent that Microsoft filed in December of 2010, we can assume that the company is trying to crack the code of mood-based advertising. As reported by PSFK:
Instead of showing targeted ads by only tracking the user’s online activities, the patented technology can also recognize the user’s emotional state based on facial expressions, speech patterns, and body movement.
Although in its patent Microsoft explains that the mood of the user can be collected over “client devices” such as smartphones, laptops, PCs, and gaming devices, it’s likely these mood-based ads could be facilitated with Microsoft’s Kinect. The motion sensor can already detect speech, and gestures.
Moods can have a very significant impact on advertising. In a 2007 article in the International Journal of Advertising, Fred E. Bronner (University of Amsterdam), Jasper R. Bronner and John Faasse Kobalt research the impact of a consumer’s mood on the effectiveness of advertising. Of course, a consumer’s mood has a huge impact on how an advertising message is received. Here are some highlights from the article:
The receiver context can include the physical environment in which a person is exposed to an advertisement (at home or elsewhere), the social environment (alone or with others), time frame (morning or evening) and mental state (good or bad mood). In this contribution we concentrate on the influence that the mental state of the receiver has on the effectiveness of the advertising. More precisely, we concentrate on the mental state that a person is in prior to exposure to the medium content (antecedent state). Mood is considered as an antecedent state because a mood can be present before the consumer is exposed to the ad (Burke & Edell 1989).
The article goes on to state how much more effective an ad can be when consumers are in a good mood:
From the literature in psychology and marketing science, it becomes clear that a general conclusion is that persuasive impact is greater if the person targeted is in a happy, benevolent mood (Petty et al. 1993).
Research shows how moods fluctuate and some people more prone to be in a better mood more often, so it is hard to determine when and where brands should advertise in order to increase the chances of reaching consumers in a good mood.
Download the complete article here.
At this point Microsoft has only filed a patent on the mood-based ad platform, we can only assume that the company is planning on bringing this technology to the world at some point in the future.