The Top Four Themes from CES and What They Mean For Brands

For the tech world, the beginning of January is characterized by one big event – CES. Accordingly, our Resolution team members spent the week walking the floors and meeting with partners at the show in Las Vegas. Below, they weigh in on the main themes seen across vendors and platforms and what they mean for Omnicom’s clients.

Everything With Voice: Alexa reigned over CES 2017, but this was the first show where voice-activated technology was everywhere. A variety of companies are partnering with Amazon, and increasingly with Google, to bring voice control to their products. From light bulbs and car stereos to home security systems, consumers will grow more and more comfortable talking to their devices instead of commanding them with a visual interface.

“Behind this voice activity is a complex AI infrastructure that turns voice command into data which can be used by these devices. Marketers seeking to create meaningful interactions in this environment must first understand how people are “speaking“ to devices, which can be done through keyword research. Qualifying and quantifying this behavior will lead to new approaches to content strategy and structured data sets that fuel the AI revolution powering voice interaction.” – Dave McAnally, Content

Omnipresent Connectedness: In a world where constant connection, battery life, and signal strength are huge pain points for consumers, announcements surrounding the rollout of 5G and wireless charging at CES demonstrate that consumers will be able to stay more connected than ever.

“Marketers now have the opportunity to deliver on their customers’ expectations for a more personalized omni-channel experience. A brand can deliver multiple messages that engages customers based on where they are in the consumer journey.   To take advantage of this opportunity a marketer will have to prioritize data that drives predictive decision making based on consumer actions, behavior and physical proximity. Serving the right message at the right time is within reach thanks to innovations in the area of connectivity.” – Kannan Selvaratnam, Commerce

Software Everywhere: Artificial intelligence was one of the hottest trends at this year’s CES, which indicates that the brands that will win are the ones that understand the foundation behind the hardware. Machine learning will compel marketers to understand predictive decisioning and content consumption.

“AI and machine learning ride on the rails of complex big datasets to recognize patterns and correlations to create meaningful interactions with people.  Marketing to a machine will be all about creating digital content that is ‘open source’—and the marketers that will succeed in this environment will be the ones that integrate what’s available, innovate on new applications of machine learning technology, and continue to train and build teams that are stewards of the technology and can take a critical yet strategic view of its applications for their business.” Ted Schuster, Advertising

Phenomenal (and cross-device) media quality: Everyone may be talking about the roll-up television, but there was no shortage of amazing sight and sound capabilities on display. Consumers now have access to professional grade cinema and audio experiences.

“Audience and content transcend device. Consumers care about accessing stories when they want them, and it’s up to us to show how. We saw no shortage of immersive new video experiences, from old school publishers like Conde and NBC showing off new ways to stream video across smartTVs and gaming devices to new companies unleashing VR, AR and now MR – or ‘mixed reality’. Imagine an ad for the newest race car video game where the experience puts you at the wheel AND the billboards along the track are customized to your geo, preferences or other targetable attributes – it’s in our near future and exciting for the likes of our auto and gaming brands.” – Brooke Abney, Video