Xbox LIVE Advertising: Placement Guidelines

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1 Xbox LIVE Advertising: Placement Guidelines This document is designed to introduce standards and guidelines to help clients achieve their campaign goals v1.6

2 Xbox LIVE Advertising: Placement Guidelines Table of Contents Keys to the Kingdom 3 Placement 4 One Campaign, Two Placement Sizes 5 Small Placement 6 Large Placement 7 Specs 8 Placement Locations 9 Home 10 Games 11 TV & Movies 12 Music 13 Apps 14 Best Practices 15 Cropping and Content: Small Placement 16 Cropping and Content: Large Placement 17 Call to Action 18 Distinct Appearance 19 Moiré Patterns in SD 20 Video Banners: Aspect Ratio 21 Video Banners: Text and CTA Overlays 22 Fundamental Standards, Guidelines, and Design Principles 23 Case Studies 24 Success Stories from the Source 25

3 The Keys to the Xbox LIVE Kingdom Subtle Differences, Profound Results Xbox LIVE provides a thoughtfully crafted and carefully curated environment that allows advertisers to focus on what s most important; their brand. By combining strategies provided in this document with sound content and approach, you can position your creative to achieve your campaign goals. CURATED CONTENT vs. INTERNET WILDERNESS With traditional banner advertising, banner creative is in a constant attention tug-of-war with a sea of unpredictable content. Literally anything might appear adjacent to an Internet banner ad. As a result, advertisers are faced with the challenge of fighting for a user s attention. By providing a thoughtfully crafted and carefully curated environment, advertising is naturally more discoverable. Conversely, by arming yourself and your agency with the understanding that the adjacent imagery and presentation, you can gain an understanding of what content and design techniques perform highest on our platform. BROADCAST vs. INTERNET Likely the most important aspect of advertising on Xbox LIVE is the understanding that Xbox LIVE is enjoyed via a broadcast, not an Internet medium. Although they share many similar design principles and techniques, there are are subtle, but very important differences between enjoying Xbox LIVE versus an traditional internet experience. Some notable differences: The 10 experience of broadcast Considerations for Standard Definition (SD) versus High-Definition (HD) televisions The controller, Kinect voice, and Kinect Gesture interaction paradigms of Xbox Many visual design and content strategies that may succeed on banners created for the web, fall flat or even work against you on an Xbox LIVE Placement. This is most important with regards to legibility and content density. However by combining thes strategies provided in this document with sound content and approach, you can position your creative to maximize CTR. 3

4 Placements 4

5 Placements One Campaign, Two Placement Sizes With the latest release of Xbox LIVE, all campaigns will need at least two Placement ads (one small, one large). TWO SIZES, ONE APPROACH Due to the significant difference in Placement sizes, it s recommended that each ad creative be designed holistically. Both Placements are 4x3 aspect ratio, however both sizes will not fit the same amount of content. Cluttered ads will appear grainy and blurry and possibly illegible on Standard Definition televisions (SD). Keep this in mind when following the guidelines herein. 5

6 Placements Small Placement Size: 174x130 pixels Format:.jpg or.psd Max File Size: 64kb for final.jpg compression 6

7 Placements Large Placement Size: 263x197 pixels Format:.jpg or.psd Max File Size: 64kb for final.jpg compression 7

8 Placements Placement Specs Due to the significant difference in sizes, appropriate content strategies are recommended to maintain legibility, image fidelity and experience quality. STATIC BANNERS Although it s acceptable to submit flat, static banners, it s highly recommended that layered source files (.PSD) be provided should modification or optimization be required. Additionally, layered source imagery at larger sizes is recommended should the composition of the banner need to be adjusted during campaign flight. Static Banners Size 1 (Small): 174x130 pixels Size 2 (Large): 263x197 pixels Format:.jpg or.psd Max File Size: 64kb for final.jpg compression VIDEO BANNERS Unlike static banners, video deliverables must have larger dimensions than final Placement sizes. The files will be scaled down by our team to fit appropriate Placement sizes. Video Banner Aspect Ratio: 4x3 Minimum Size: 400x300px Format:.wmv File Size: 1.5mb Max Duration: 15 or 30 seconds Audio: Codec: WMA Pro Bitrate: 192 Kbps Sample Rate: 48 Khz Bits Per Sample: 16 8

9 Placement Locations for Top Level Sections Placement locations subject to change 9

10 Placement Locations Home 10

11 Placement Locations Games 11

12 Placement Locations TV & Movies 12

13 Placement Locations Music 13

14 Placement Locations Apps 14

15 Best Practices 15

16 Best Practices Cropping and Content: Small Placement 174 x 130 The primary goal should be to pique the user s curiosity. When creating Placement art for small banners, keep in mind the 10 sight distance. Only use imagery and messaging that is critical to this objective. Don t be afraid of dropping peripheral elements for the sake of clarity and ease-of-use; once the user has clicked the tile, you ll have the entire screen to drive your broader message. Close-up image crops are best for all Placements. Keep the number of individual elements to a minimum. Avoid multiple text elements in smaller Placements. Correct Correct 16

17 Best Practices Cropping and Content: Large Placement 263 x 197 Close-up image crops are best for all Placements. Use logos and text elements sparingly. Do not use overly busy imagery. Focus on one element. Correct Correct 17

18 Best Practices Call To Action Placements are, in and of themselves, buttons. They have an active, systemgenerated focus state that indicates the Placement is selected and will be activated by various means of user interaction. Subsequently, Placements should NEVER contain a button of any form or anything resembling a button. They should never say Click Here or have any other similar call to action content that refers to direct interaction with the Placement itself ( press A etc...). Keep calls to action short, sweet, and relevant Do not use CTAs that reference direct interaction with the Placement ( Click Here, Click This!, Click Now! etc...) Do not use system icons (button icons, search or function icons) 18

19 Best Practices Distinct Appearance Advertising Placements cannot mimic standard editorial Placements. Editorial Placements contain a transparent black bar across the bottom of the Placement, containing a CTA. Placements doing so will be rejected. Correct Correct 19

20 Best Practices Moiré Patterns in SD Avoid images that have concentrated, complex line patterns such as tight vertical or horizontal striping, or moiré patterning. These images may produce oscillation and/or buzz and other odd effects on Standard Definition (SD) televisions. Correct Correct 20

21 Best Practices Video Banners: Aspect Ratio Provide videos in Aspect Ratio: 4x3 Dimensions: 400x300 pixels Correct Correct 21

22 Best Practices Video Banners: Text and CTA Overlays Video Placements will utilize the same video for both Placement sizes. This means that any CTA overlays* on the video must meet legibility requirements for the smallest Placement size (174x130 pixels). At the native 400x300 pixel size, 36pt font roughly equates to the minimum font size allowed when reduced to 174x130 pixels. *Type appearing in the native video itself are not subject to this sizing rule Correct Correct 22

23 Best Practices Fundamental Standards, Guidelines and Design Principles Image quality standards are essential for engaging ad Placements. All images published to the dash must be of Triple-A quality (resolution, editorial design and clarity of messaging). Design Fundamentals All font characters must be at least 16pt in size. Avoid small condensed, thin, and serif fonts. All imagery and visual assets must be clearly recognizable from a 10 sightline. Source images must be top quality (i.e. not blurry, grainy, poor resolution, pixelated or not having the appearance of being professionally produced). Use simple images with a clear single point of visual focus within Placements (especially important at smaller sizes). Avoid complex imagery with multiple focal points. See Cropping Guidelines starting on page 17. Do not use images with very fine or dense patterns or dense striping as these produce oscillation effects in SD. See Moiré Patterns in SD on page 21. Do not use lines below 2px in stroke size. Do not use pure black or white; instead use #0f0f0f for black, and #f0f0f0 for white. Content Fundamentals Avoid images containing box shots (packaging) of games, videos, etc. Favor fullframe key art whenever possible. Do not use screen captures of the dash or representations of the dash inside Placement. Recommended resolution for sourced images is 150 DPI or higher at 100% of largest required Placement or BG size. If Xbox will be required to enlarge the image for Placement cuts or creative use, 300 DPI at 200% or higher is recommended. Do not use images with graphic gore or violence. Do not use nude imagery or graphically sexual images. For a full range of CAP (Creative Acceptance Policy) requirements, please contact your Xbox LIVE Media Solution Specialist. 23

24 Case Studies 24

25 Case Studies Success Stories from the Source Proper best practices for broadcast design are only half of the battle. Consult with your Media Solution Specialist to craft a custom Placement strategy specific to your campaign. SUCCESS IN MOTION A major auto manufacturer ran a campaign utilizing the same static banner creative they employed on the web. Despite employing multiple calls-to-action, the CTR wasn t doing as well. So the specialists at Xbox LIVE Advertising went to work on a banner employing the very practices highlighted in this document. They optimized the imagery and type for broadcast, added motion, and employed a CTA that resonated with the intended audience. The result... PIQUING INTEREST Not long ago, a major camera manufacturer engaged Xbox LIVE Advertising to create a BDE that integrated the client s product. The BDE execution was a resounding success. However, the Placement was experiencing a less-than-inspiring CTR. Armed with solid ideas to turn the creative up a notch, the team at Xbox LIVE Advertising collaborated on a new static banner. The strategies they employed to create a more engaging creative resulted in an astounding increase: +966% CTR Source: Internal Microsoft data +814% CTR Source: Internal Microsoft data 25

26 All contents confidential. For any questions or clarification on this document, please contact your XBLA Media Solutions Specialist. 26

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