The event also saw the agency showcase some of its recent work with brands such as Xbox, Asda, Coca-Cola and Nissan.
Speaking on the panel was: Jason Snyder, chief technology officer at Momentum WW; Mike Soutar, CEO at Shortlist Media; Ross Brown, vice president at PMK*BNC; and Jesse Boyce, creative lead at Skype, while Luke D’Arcy, president at Momentum WW, chaired the discussion.
Topics such as what brands are doing with technology that will shape the future of brand experience and whether there is still a place for ‘traditional’ brand experiences were discussed.
Snyder said he believed that, for brands, the big opportunity was in the augmented reality, rather than virtual reality, space, with the latter reserved more for the likes of the entertainment industry. While Brown said he felt there were three big areas moving forwards: storytelling, the global aspect of campaigns, and the use of data.
And while Brown thinks all brands are embracing tech, the key thing is relevancy. "It is about ensuring we are relevant and engaging, on a day-to-day basis and at times that are convenient to the consumer," he said.
The issue of relevancy and of meaningfulness was a key focus for the panel, with Boyce adding that ultimately brand experiences were about "meaningful, engaged and enhanced conversation" which is "front of mind for me on everything we do". He said that technology was sometimes "looking for a purpose", and that most people just want their phone battery to last a bit longer.
Snyder added that he believes exponential growth in technology automatically results in exponential growth in the adoption of technology, and made an interesting point that "the porn industry has been behind every major technological media advance since the creation of mankind".
The issue of capitalising on a brand experience was also raised, with Soutar speaking about the success of Stylist Live last year. "We had 13,000 of exactly the right kind of consumers through the door of the Business Design Centre, but what do you do with that afterwards? If nothing then you haven’t really taken advantage of the fact they came to that event."
Ultimately it was a unanimous decision that tech would not kill brand experiences, but Brown advised perhaps proceeding with caution.