CES 2016: Advertisers can expect more from immersive experiences and connected objects

If there's one thing that differentiated CES 2016 from other years, it is the scale. CES 2016 was by far the biggest to date; 180,000 attendees and 20,000 new products launched by 3,600 exhibitors.

For advertisers, the explosion of connected devices at this year’s CES shows the potential power of data mining at scale, which gives out-of-home advertisers more opportunity to develop rich, immersive and more personal experiences for consumers.

Here are just a few CES tech categories of particular relevance to advertisers:

Wearable technology

Wearable tech is a category that is exploding, with 20 per cent compound annual growth expected over the next five years. Often using a smartphone as a central intelligence hub, wearables are becoming more affordable, reliable and relevant.

Intel’s new Curie chip (named after Marie Curie) is a tiny processor the size of a button that’s cheap enough to be mass produced and embedded in just about any consumer item. Additionally, the Intel Memory Mirror is a device that could transform the instore shopping experience, letting consumers step in front of the mirror, see themselves in 360°, try on clothes, and see previous try-ons without having to redress.

Samsung demonstrated a new watch that doesn’t require a phone as it has its own connectivity, while other high-end smart wearables from Fossil, Swarovski and Tag Heuer also showed that wearable tech can be fashionable.

This boom in wearables means a major increase in richer data, which can improve both classic OOH and digital campaigns. Richer data delivers better results, and here at Posterscope we have seen spectacular increases of up to 200 per cent for brand KPIs vs. control areas.

Video recording devices ?

Consumer recording devices are becoming cheaper, more mobile and better quality. GoPro disrupted Polaroid, and now Polaroid is disrupting GoPro.

The Polaroid Cube is a 35mm HD camera that is water proof, durable, high quality, light weight and can be mounted to almost anything.

Ricoh launched the Theta S 360 Camera the size of a small TV remote control that contains two fish eye cameras. Early adopters now have the ability to easily create 360° HD content.

These new devices could offer advertisers an amazing source of high quality user generated content that can be contextualised and curated for any screen including mobile, digital and OOH. Digital inventory and full motion DOOH is in a prime position to become a content platform in and of itself, both for brands to broadcast from and for users to contribute to.

Immersive experiences: VR and AR

New virtual reality and augmented reality products now offer brands and experiential marketers in particular the opportunity to provide truly immersive experiences for consumers.

At the lower end of the market, the Samsung Galaxy VR offers an affordable introduction to the world of VR. The Oculus Rift is finally launching this year, along with new products such as Leap Motion, and the augmented reality giants Magic Leap and Microsoft HoloLens.

This tech enables brands and experiential marketers to provide interactive, immersive storytelling. It’s already happening, for example, Posterscope’s experiential agency psLIVE used Oculus Rift at Waterloo station to transport commuters to the zip line and high wire courses at a newly opened Center Parcs in Woburn Forest, extending the impact of the wider ad campaign in a fun, enjoyable and tactile way.

Smart cars

Nine automotive OEMs exhibited at CES showcasing their range of semi-autonomous cars. Advertisers need to start regarding the car as another digital media format – a connected device for collecting behavioural data, and delivering information and media.

Smart displays with LTE connectivity and personalised content were a staple of the cars on display at CES.

Groupon and Chevrolet have partnered to provide Chevrolet drivers access to Groupon’s entire marketplace of location-specific deals available through OnStar, the brand’s navigation and connectivity service.

As cars begin to produce more data, advertisers will increasingly be able to increase personalisation and improve the targeting of campaigns, particular in roadside OOH.

Implications for advertisers

CES highlights three broad implications for the OOH industry. First, consumers are expecting high quality experiences everywhere, both in and out of home.

Advertisers need to continue to up their game with producing high quality, immersive, content-rich experiences, and VR is poised to become an important part of the OOH ecosystem by delivering quality consumer experiences.

Second, wearables will provide a bigger variety of data points that advertisers can tap into. Finally, digital media will not just be in the formats we’ve come to expect. Anything will be a digitally immersive experience, from cars to changing rooms.

Advertisers need to think beyond conventional formats and treat any connected device as an opportunity to connect with a human.

Jeff Tan is vice president of strategy for Posterscope

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