Xbox Gears Up Marketing MachineThe marketing wheels at Microsoft are grinding into motion as the software giant gears up to launch its Xbox video game console, which it envisions not only as a gaming machine but an entertainment hub for the home.
With less than a month to go before the Nov. 15 debut of Microsofts big foray into the $20 billion-a-year global video game market, the company is marshaling everything from Mexican food to 18-wheel trucks to preach the Xbox gospel, executives said Friday.
"On the marketing side its all about building buzz," said Robbie Bach, Microsofts "Chief Xbox Officer".
The first advertisements are just now starting to appear in gaming magazines, marking the beach-head of a half-billion-dollar campaign to sell the Xbox over the next year and a half. Soon, ads on youth-oriented television stations like MTV and WB will start beaming the message. And Microsoft hopes Taco Bell customers will be shouting "Yo quiero Xbox!" (I want Xbox!) as the fast-food Mexican chain, a unit of Tricon Global Restaurants Inc., starts splashing the products distinctive radioactive-green logo across nearly 7,000 stores. Other co-marketing efforts will include Vans sneakers and SoBe drinks.
Microsoft will follow those carpet-bombing tactics with the advertising equivalent of surgical strikes: two custom-built 18-wheelers will travel to more than 40 cities, deploying a giant inflatable pavilion equipped with 50 Xbox machines that visitors can play.