Microsoft has unveiled plans at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity that are scheduled to go live by Spring 2012 by which users can use the Kinect to interact with advertisements while playing a game or watching a video. The new suite of advertising tools, called NUads (Natural User-interface Ads), will let users interact with ads on the dashboard or embedded in games and video content.

“When you have highly interactive people and a passive medium, they are interacting with their phone or their laptop while watching TV”, said Mark Kroese, general manager of Microsoft’s advertising business group. “[The new ads] create a natural way for the user to engage with the TV.”

“The new ad units really epitomized the level of engagement that everyone is working towards,” said John M. Lisko, the executive communications director of Saatchi & Saatchi.

Gamers can send messages about an add by saying Xbox Tweet or find out more information by saying Xbox More to receive an email. TV ads will let users say Xbox Schedule which will send a text message to the user’s cell phone at the right time, they can say Xbox Near Me to get a map to the nearest retailer on a phone and finally players can wave their hands and vote on various advertising polls.

“These sorts of ads are appealing to marketers because the same material can be re-used from television. What we’re seeing now is a technology environment where marketers can deliver more sophisticated ads and they don t have some of the hurdles that in-game marketers and in-game publishers had,” said Paul Verna, a senior analyst at eMarketer. “It’s a level of interactivity that suggests more possibilities than we ve seen up until now.”