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How CES 2014 Changed Nothing & Everything: A Marketing Guide

The 2014 International CES broke records left and right: more attendees, more (evolutionary, not revolutionary) innovations, and yes, more hype – just ask the estimated 2.3 billion people worldwide who were touched by the stories of CES. 

But what really changed as a result of CES? What will still matter for brands in the months and years ahead? Check out my latest Jack Morton white paper for the key changes we saw at CES 2014 and the roadmap you'll need to get ahead of CES 2015.

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How CES 2014 Changed Nothing & Everything: A Marketing Guide

  2. 2. 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS OVERVIEW OF CES 2014 ........................................3 HOW NOTHING CHANGED ....................................4 HOW EVERYTHING CHANGED ................................5 #1: More Innovation, Fewer Launches #2: The New Giants Are Little #3: Rise of New Sectors #4: Connect with Influential Consumers TRENDS FOR BRANDS & MARKETERS ..................15 #1: Personal Data Revolution #2: Innovation Through Partnership #3: Technology & Analog Tension #4: Modernizing Brand Presences At CES JACK MORTON WORLDWIDE ...............................22
  3. 3. 3 Welcome to 2014 – and a significantly refreshed CES. The show felt different this year than from years past – it was a more focused gathering of technology (not just consumer electronics) leaders from around the world with renewed purpose and vision. The show’s continued growth and relevance is no accident. Last year, the event’s organizers – the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) – made a strong pivot, eliminating the title of “Consumer Electronics Show.” Instead, the CEA now talks about CES as “the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies” and “the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies.” That pivot has changed a lot about the show, including the people that attend, the way it’s covered by the media and even the way brands show up there. It’s also contributed to the show’s success. The 2014 CES was the largest in show’s history, with a record two million square feet of exhibit space housing more than 3,200 exhibitors. More than 150,000 industry professionals were attendance, including more than 35,000 from outside the United States. Most impressively, the CEA’s President, Gary Shapiro, claims that this year CES touched one-third of the world’s population. The 2015 International CES will be held January 6-9, 2015. Is your brand ready to make the most of it?
  4. 4. 4 HOW NOTHING CHANGED Over the past several years, we’ve predicted a major evolution in what the International CES stands for and who would attend it. This year, we saw that evolution play out. So how did CES 2014 change nothing and everything all at once? Well, it depends on your perspective. Ben Grossman Senior Strategist +1.617.752.1171 A decade ago, CES was the platform from which the biggest consumer electronics were launched. But it’s been years since a truly mainstream product actually premiered at CES. Today, manufacturers are opting for proprietary press events – away from the noise and clutter of CES – to launch products. So from the ”next big thing” announcement perspective, CES changed nothing. But for marketers and brands, CES 2014 made it clear that everything has changed. Here’s our take on what has changed – both in terms of the event itself and also in the way consumers will move through the world well beyond the annual gathering in Las Vegas.
  5. 5. 5 HOW EVERYTHING CHANGED From its renewed purpose, to a significant shift in which brands (not necessarily technology) led the storytelling, CES clearly evolved in 2014. Here are some of the show’s biggest changes.
  6. 6. #1: MORE INNOVATION, FEWER LAUNCHES The timing of CES (just after the all important holiday season) has been problematic for product launches for years. But today, CES as a stage for product launches has more than just seasonal timing working against it. ‣ Pace of Innovation: The pace of technological innovation within hardware and software – not just products – has increased significantly. ‣ Cultural Relevance of Technology: Consumer interest in, and thus media coverage of, technology has grown leaps and bounds in recent years. As such, technology innovators can attract plenty of media attention with proprietary events (a la Apple, Facebook and Google) during less competitive news cycles. ‣ Democratization of Publishing: Some of the best innovations, often the products of small start-ups, bubble up through social media and online news sources well in advance of a once-annual show. (Kickstarter and Indiegogo only fuel this fire.) The net-net? Some onlookers still end up disappointed that “the next big thing” did not seem to surface out of CES (giving the impression that “nothing” changed). But the fact is that more innovations than ever are being showcased at CES – from a more diverse set of creators. Ironically, attendees still flock to fixate on a wall of LG 3D TVs, despite similar technology being on display for several years. And while these technologies are not necessarily completely unknown prior to the first full week in January, the show does help bring them into focus. 6
  7. 7. #2: THE NEW GIANTS ARE LITTLE It has been years since one of the major consumer electronics companies has unveiled a truly revolutionary innovation at CES. This year, there was nonetheless plenty to talk about, thanks to smaller, more nimble innovators that now have a voice at the show – startups (including crowd-funded products and mobile applications). In an effort to provide a platform for these start-ups to speak from, CES introduced Eureka Park, a show floor for companies looking to gain footing in the consumer electronics industry. But that was just the beginning for start-ups at CES. ‣ ‣ Indiegogo Zone: The new Indiegogo Zone, named after the popular crowd-funding platform, featured hardware campaigners showcasing their products. ‣ Canary is a connected home security device featured at CES tracks motion, temperature, air quality, vibration, sound and activity. It is the most successful Indiegogo project to-date. Start-Up SuperSession: CEA honored some of the most successful start-ups by hosting a session called, “CES 2015: How Today's Emerging Technologies will Affect Tomorrow's Devices.” It featured executives from Leap Motion, Oculus VR, Pebble Technology and 3D Systems Inc. CEA MoDev Hackathon: In the second annual MoDev Hackathon, nearly 100 developers competed for up to $100,000 in cash and prizes. Apps were awarded for integrating with partners, including Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, Sony and Modev. 7
  8. 8. 8 #2: THE NEW GIANTS ARE LITTLE ‣ CONTINUED ‣ Prime Time for Transportation Apps: Over 150,000 technology enthusiasts and a massive shortage of transportation created the perfect opportunity for Bandwagon, a mobile app that facilitates taxi sharing. (Uber, the popular on-demand driver app, cannot operate in Las Vegas due to Nevada law, but didn’t miss the chance to make its mark on CES attendees). Mobile App Showdown: Now in its fourth year, the 2014 Mobile Apps Showdown brought significant attention to a field of strong contenders. The winners included Password Box, a password management app, and Ballerz, a crowd-coordinating recreational sports app. ^ When opened in Las Vegas during CES, Uber featured an inapp appeal to its users to rally their support to help it change Nevada laws. The “Wall of Apps” allowed attendees to familiarize themselves with new mobile app releases, like Babii – a social network for babies. Apps were featured at “The Mobile App Showdown.” > Bandwagon, a mobile app that helps coordinate ridesharing, popped-up next to cab lines to help articulate its value proposition. Attendees had plenty of time to read its literature.
  9. 9. #3: RISE OF NEW SECTORS While TVs, handheld devices and computers still dominated some conversations at CES, a new crop of brands and exhibitors captured the attention and imagination of attendees and analysts alike. Some of CES’s most explosive growth this year was in the health, 3D printing and auto sectors. ‣ One highlight was Withings’ Aura, an under-the-mattress sleep monitor that records sleep cycles (quality of sleep, noise pollution, room temperature, and light level) and pairs with a responsive bedside alarm clock. Analysts were impressed my the move from app-based sleep monitoring to a more seamless solution. Health: Health and personal sensor-based devices have shown on the CES floor for years. But this year, the health sector hit critical mass, making the move from the North Hall to the South Hall and bringing much more commercial polish to exhibitors’ booths and product offerings. Meanwhile, iHealth’s booth featured an expansive range of products that show the potential in unifying disparate health experiences into a streamlined, cohesive user experience. Its devices are beginning to feel more like matching luggage and fulfill a number of different consumer needs. 9
  10. 10. 10 #3: RISE OF NEW SECTORS CONTINUED ‣ 3D Printing: 3D printing has certainly received its fair share (or more) of press in the past few years, and CEA led the parade this year by giving the industry its own TechZone. It was so popular with exhibitors that it sold out three times leading up to the show, leading to three consecutive expansions of the space. Breakthrough sub$1,000 printers were on display, prompting many consumers to begin considering their purchase. Even Martha Stewart toured the 3D printing section of the floor, presumably lured by 3D Systems’ premiere of the ChefJet food-safe printers for chocolate and colored sugar creations. Makerbot also introduced a generation of entry-level “point-and-shoot” style printers made to get users going right out of the box. 3D Systems showed off ChefJet – the first food-safe 3D printer that prints sugar and chocolate creations. 3D-printed geometric sugar cubes by 3D Systems’ ChefJet are a crowd pleaser for upscale events. The system can also print in full color with sugar.
  11. 11. 11 #3: RISE OF NEW SECTORS CONTINUED ‣ Auto: Automakers’ presence has consistently grown at CES over the past three years. And though the auto industry has always been part of the show, prior to 2011, most of their involvement was in the aftermarket accessories business. This year, the major automakers focused on the innovations and technology housed inside their vehicles. (Conveniently, Nevada is one of a select number of states where it's legal to test drive auto-piloted cars). Automakers captured significant attendee attention with involvement that rivaled the traditional consumer electronic giants. Audi’s CEO gave a splashy keynote as part of the Tech Titans series, announcing the brand’s vision for a future of piloted cars and a broader Audi goal of engineering mobility. Ford got cozy with external partners, who the brand sees as critical in keeping up with today’s pace of innovation. Perhaps most notably, BMW showed off its i3 all-electric car, offering test drives through its mega installation directly outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. Audi’s Tech Titan Keynote drew a full theater of attendees. Some were lured by the technology... others the high-end appetizers and free (unlimited) alcoholic beverages.
  12. 12. 12 #4: CONNECT WITH INFLUENTIAL CONSUMERS CES was once seen by brands and marketers as a business to business (B2B) and press event. Today, however, an increasing number of brands are rightly seeing it as an opportunity to connect with over 150,000 highly influential consumers. Forrester Research reports that 80 percent of influential brand impressions about consumer electronics are generated by 1.8 percent of online adults. In terms of places to find that small fraction of super-influential consumers, CES is a pretty good bet. Whether their goal is lead capture, app downloads or simply creating brand advocates, a few brands have perfected the art of connecting with influential consumers at in the midst of CES. ‣ The New York Times: The New York Times returned to CES this year to tout its print and digital offerings in an effort to generate new subscribers. Attendees posed for short videos that were then converted into custom flipbooks, which ended with the attendee on the front page of The Times. 3D-printed geometric sugar cubes by 3D Systems’ ChefJet are a crowd pleaser for upscale events. The system can also print in full color with sugar.
  13. 13. 13 #4: CONNECT WITH INFLUENTIAL CONSUMERS CONTINUED ‣ American Express: In order to generate leads and new sign-ups for the AmEx OPEN small business credit card, American Express is in its third year of combining mini-competitions with a thought leader speaker series.. Attendees show off their knowledge through quiz games and influential speakers always draw a crowd. Proactive and personable brand ambassadors engage participants as they come to the booth, converting them to leads at an amazingly efficient rate. American Express upped the value proposition this year by opening an OPEN Card Member only lounge inside the Las Vegas Convention Center. AmEx breaks through the clutter and showing the benefits of being a Card Member with its useful meeting space in the LVCC.
  14. 14. 14 #4: CONNECT WITH INFLUENTIAL CONSUMERS CONTINUED ‣ iHeartRadio App: With the goal of generating on-site mobile app downloads, iHeartRadio set up a simple charging station outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. While attendees charged their devices, a brand ambassador offered a cell phone case in exchange for downloading the Clear Channel-owned streaming radio application. ‣ Samsung: For the last three years, Samsung has done a masterful job of creating on-floor experiences that attract the masses. The basic recipe is simple: Use Samsung Galaxy devices to create a personalized premium that attendees walk away from the booth with. Along the way, participants are trained on products and become part of the brand’s marketing database. This year, Samsung printed custom t-shirts and framed photos with popular soccer players. ‣ Inexpensive, but highly effective, iHeartRadio’s simple charging station begot an impressive number of app downloads. Samsung Galaxy has created some of the longest lines the CES floor has seen for attendees to surrender contact information in exchange for premiums.
  15. 15. 15 TRENDS FOR BRANDS & MARKETERS In 2013, marketers made up a whopping five percent of all attendees at CES. Though final numbers won’t be available for CES 2014 until late spring, there was no shortage of programming specifically developed for marketers this year. Here are a few of the major trends that marketers must consider throughout the year, including during the planning cycle for CES 2015.
  16. 16. #1: PERSONAL DATA REVOLUTION A robust discussion around the collection and management of personal data was in full swing at CES 2014. Startling news stories leading up to CES – ranging from the NSA’s aggressive surveillance to data breaches at Target, Snapchat and Skype – created a lively conversation about the potential and risks of leveraging personal consumer data. While the sobering news may have reduced the bullishness of marketer attendees on the potential of data, a few key opportunities emerged: ‣ Leveraging Data to Add Value: Finding ways to leverage the ever-growing amount of consumer data in order to generate value for brands (and consumers), will be key for brand experiences of the future. McCann Truth Central’s “Truth About Privacy” study revealed that consumers are most receptive to brands that they feel know them (Netflix), rather than stalk them (Amazon). 16
  17. 17. 17 #1: PERSONAL DATA REVOLUTION CONTINUED ‣ Programmatic Media Future: In a panel about the future of media planning and buying, representatives from AOL and Magna Global chatted about the promise of buying media programmatically with machine intelligence. Of course, operationalizing programmatic buying at scale will rely upon some level of personal data, which consumers could become increasingly sensitive about in the future. That said, it could also increase the value delivered to advertisers, publishers and, if the industry gets it right, consumers. ‣ Privacy Concerns: Federal Trade Commission (FTC) commissioner Julie Brill sat on a panel designed for marketers, where she cautioned about sensitivities about brands leveraging personal data. Specific areas of focus for the FTC in 2014 will include raising consumer protection and visibility into privacy as it relates to data brokers, mobile payments and wearable technology. Magna Global President of North America, Kristi Argyilan, is responsible for ensuring that, by 2015, 50 percent of all media is bought programatically at IPG Mediabrands.
  18. 18. #2: INNOVATE THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS With the increased pace of innovation and the growing integration of technology into all aspects of life, some brands are finding that the only way to maintain relevance is to partner up. While the show was flooded with examples of this trend, here are a few very different models for partnership that were on display: ‣ United Healthcare: One of the first brands to recognize the importance of strategic partnerships, United Healthcare has had a dynamic CES showing for a few years. The insurer routinely brings a handful of partners, like Zamzee (a gamified physical activity monitor), to CES to show off pilot programs that leverage technology to help its customers lead a healthier life. ‣ Audi: Known for its engineering prowess, Audi showcased partnerships with the likes of NVIDIA (the selfpiloting brain) and AT&T (LTE network to guide the vehicles navigation and steering) to power aspects of their self-piloted vehicles. ‣ iBitz: To help move kids offline and get them to start moving, iBitz partnered with Disney’s Club Penguin, one of the most popular sites for kids on the internet. The iBitz PowerKey activity tracker encourages kids to track their daily activity in order to earn virtual Club Penguin points that are redeemable for a plethora of benefits in the online game. 18
  19. 19. Technology has infiltrated a significant portion of consumers’ lives and with “The Internet of Things” that trend is only set to continue. But any time the pendulum is swinging in one direction, there’s a natural undercurrent pulling it back to the other. At CES 2014, a healthy tension between a technologyladen life and a return to analog living was apparent. #3: TECHNOLOGY & ANALOG TENSION That tension is impacting the way brands develop products and, of course, how they draw attendees’ attention. ‣ Analog in Booths: In a gathering completely saturated in technology, some brands broke through with analog appeals to draw attendee attention in. Skullcandy embraced its counterculture attitude, pairing its high-end headphones with a decidedly analog game of nonalcoholic beer pong. Looxcie had an old-fashioned prize wheel that drew a line that went around its booth. ‣ Analog in Products: A few products exhibited at CES appear to be direct reactions to a rising desire for a return to a more analog lifestyle. Griffin showed off its line of Papernomad technology cases featuring a brown paper exterior – perfect for drawing on with permanent marker. Jamstik, a controller for digital music applications, offers users a chance to use real strings, real frets and real picking as an input method instead of a touchscreen. And Polaroid’s new line of retro, Instagraminspired Socialmatic cameras will generate an analog print out as well as be posted to social media. Polaroid Socialmatic Jamstik Griffin Papernomad 19
  20. 20. #4: MODERNIZING BRAND PRESENCES AT CES So if everything really has changed as of CES 2014, the natural question is “How should modern brands show up at CES?” Here are a few things to consider when planning for the future of the show. ‣ Content Over Cities: The era of building mini-cities on the show floor is coming to an end. Today, the currency of CES is content: exclusive press events that dish out hard news that’s exciting to report; tastefully presented brand and product level detail within approachable and engaging booths; keynotes and panels that elevate executives and inspire the future; and even talented performers who use the products that are being introduced. ‣ Death of Booth Babes: Once a mainstay on the floor of CES, there has (thankfully) been a significant decline in hired spokesmodels with little knowledge of products who are simply window dressing for booths. Today, the most effective brand ambassadors are brand enthusiasts, sometimes even employees of the companies exhibiting. They relate to attendees in a genuine, welcoming way, but are outgoing enough to snap attendees out of the floor-induced haze. Gibson hosted popular nightly performances by Frankie Moreno, showcasing the music and Gibson products. Headphone-connected guitars were available to attendees so that they could riff on their own or play along. 20
  21. 21. 21 #4: MODERNIZING BRAND PRESENCES AT CES CONTINUED ‣ Deliver On Brand Promise: Delivering on your brand promise should be a guiding principle in all marketing communications, including CES. The most effective brand experiences are those that are not simply showcasing products or announcements, but rather those that have a higher calling. Though its booth wasn’t especially sexy, one of the most effective instances of engagement on the floor came from Suitable Technologies’ Beam remote presence robots. The brand stationed employees around the show to use the robots to approach attendees. They were engaging, informative, fun and, ultimately, a perfect delivery on the value proposition of the brand. How can you deliver on your brand’s purpose through the experience you provide attendees, partners, media or even potential buyers? Creepy and cool all at once, Suitable Technologies approached attendees with a renegade of $16,000+ telepresence robots.
  22. 22. THE 2015 INTERNATIONAL CES IS APPROACHING. WILL YOU BE READY? JACK MORTON WORLDWIDE is a global brand experience agency. We help clients make brilliant things happen, including some of the most talked-about experiences at CES. Our agency culture promotes breakthrough ideas about how experiences connect brands and people—in person, online, at retail and through the power of digital and word of mouth influence. We work with clients to create powerful and effective experiences that engage customers and consumers, launch products, align employees and build strong experience brands. Ranked at the top of our field, Jack Morton is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE: IPG). CHAT WITH JACK! Liz Bigham, EVP Marketing +1 212 401 7212 More information is available online: Web site: Blog: Twitter: 22