CES 2013: An Explosion of Connected-Consumer Data is Coming. What Does This Mean for Advertisers?

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Once again, the media industry and technology world converged on Las Vegas last week for the annual Consumer Electronics Show. This year the show attracted its largest audience ever with over 150,000 attendees. Part of the CES experience is marveling at new technology—but it’s often just as exciting to think about how these innovations will impact the ad industry.

Each year, themes emerge. This year we saw that screens are getting larger. Every TV manufacturer had at least one 110” model on display. The HDTV you purchased in the past five years is quickly becoming obsolete. Next-generation models are being introduced with 4K (four times the pixel density of current HD models) and OLED (organic light-emitting diode, a new and improved form of LED). OLED TVs and monitors are paper thin (less than 1/16 of an inch thick), curved for more immersive viewing and have absolutely stunning picture quality. As one blogger commented, don’t buy a TV in 2013!

The emphasis on mobile continues with devices that are designed to fold using new flexible screen technology. Mobility is no longer defined by a smartphone but by the ability to port content wherever you are. As exciting as mobile continues to be, technical and digital platforms will unite advertising messages. The future is a connected, consumer-centric model. Advertisers should pay attention to how different companies, technologies and platforms organize themselves and partner with each as they develop digital strategies in 2013 and beyond.

Connected automotive was also on display this year. Your content (music, pictures, to-do list, calendars) will live in the cloud and be accessible wherever and whenever you want it—including in your car. This seamless integration between your home, your car and your destination will provide advertisers with new ways to reach consumers. “Smart Car” in auto advertising will become a reality starting with the 2014 model year.

According to Rob Norman, Chief Digital Officer, GroupM Global, the ad industry will face a manufacturing challenge. The explosion in devices, formats, interfaces and technical standards will ultimately provide hundreds of ways to target consumers based on household, zip, zip+4, zone, and location at the right time and place—with immediate campaign feedback. The challenge will be how to connect these messages and then manufacture the assets to deliver them in a meaningful way. So asset creation and management will become a core requirement for success in this ecosystem.

Supporting this will be a vast explosion of consumer data. Everything will be connected and everything connected will collect, synthesize and store data. This will not be limited to your media devices and your car but will include your refrigerator, washer and dryer, gym equipment and anything else that can give off a signal about your preferences and purchasing power. And yes folks, for the first time ever, the iPotty was prominently on display for the parents that are committed to connected and collaborative potty training. 

Finally, in the spirit of “Why didn’t I think of that,” one of the most buzz-worthy products was the Hapifork in the biometrics (health and wellness) hall. This wireless fork monitors how fast you eat and will vibrate to slow you down, triggering a report that is sent to an iPhone app via a Bluetooth connection.

Look out Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. The technology innovators are coming after you next.

Alan Schanzer works directly with Undertone clients to guide the strategic application of its Ad Solutions that best align with brands goals and objectives. Market intelligence gained through Alan’s efforts help to drive the company’s product innovation and refinement. He is a graduate of Syracuse University and a frequent speaker and contributor at agency and industry events.


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