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The Myths of CES: Why Marketers Get Value Out Of This Show

Jan 9 2014, 4:56pm CST | by , in News

The Myths of CES: Why Marketers Get Value Out Of This Show
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

I just survived my first CES, and being on site in Vegas resolved some myths for me. I won’t get into the myths about Las Vegas (though it is true that the food is way better than it used to be), but here are my findings from the show floor. My colleagues JP Gownder, Frank Gillett, and James McQuivey will post their takes as well.

Myth 1: TV is just a screen. The myth that the TV is becoming “just a large screen” in the living room is

no longer my view. It will actually be a multi-screen, immersive environment designed for lean-back viewing, and therefore much more than a big, family size tablet. The best example of this I saw: LG, who bought WebOS from HP in 2013, has a great TV-first interface for smart TVs. The really compelling aspect of this OS approach for marketers is that links between TV programming or advertising can easily blend with supporting content like sports scores or weather. A viewer can click directly to an optimized web experience or be exposed to a highly targeted ad. With a smoother experience that bridges big-screen excitement and highly relevant content and ad follow-through, the TV will get a new round of attention from the audience surrounding it.

Myth 2: Celebrity content doesn’t matter. This myth could have also been labeled “Yahoo! doesn’t matter”. What Marissa Mayer proved in her keynote is that there is a connection between brand name celebrities, audience size, and advertising dollars. This keynote would have been just as relevant at an ANA event or Cannes Lion, but the connection to devices that both bring you content and personalize your home screen via Yahoo! make it relevant to CES. More importantly, Google, Facebook, Twitter and AOL have not taken the road of investing in well-known celebrities (only new-age media firm Netflix has taken a direct stab at this). Having SNL, John Legend, and Katie Couric share the stage with her, Ms. Mayer makes the point that the future of media still needs big names that build audience, and she is willing to pay for it. And at 800 million monthly uniques, the talent and advertisers need to stay tuned to what the purple people are up to.

Myth 3: Wristwatches are going the way of pocket watches. The prior conventional wisdom (and bane of Switzerland) is that the wrist-worn watch is a thing of the past. At this event I saw more wrist-worn devices than one thought possible, usually several per person. Maybe they were measuring their steps through 2 million square feet of event space, but there were many brands, including Sony, LG, Garmin plus FitBit, Jaybird and Neptune, that entered this fray this year. Even fashion maven Tory Burch is working with Fitbit to make technology pretty, and get us passed the look-alike (mostly) black rubberized offerings that littered the show floor. LG showed another interesting item – page-thick flexible displays – that could easily become thin wearables where the entire band is interactive. That is when I’ll buy in. Marketers should think of wearables as a screen that they will have to plan for in 2017 or 2018, more than as a device they need to sell with their logo embedded.

Now I get why marketers have taken over the hotels on the Strip during CES. It’s warm (no polar vortex in the desert), it’s the kickoff to the year, and it’s a hands-on experience.

Source: Forbes

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