This year's CES broke all records: more attendees, more innovations that reach into new areas of consumers' daily lives, 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? Read our latest white paper for the key trends that made CES 2014 stand apart and the roadmap you'll need to get ahead of CES 2015:
• More innovation, fewer launches
• "New giants" get smaller
• The rise of new sectors
• Connecting influential consumers
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
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
#2: THE NEW
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
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
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.
#2: THE NEW
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
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.
#3: RISE OF
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
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.
#3: RISE OF
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.
#3: RISE OF
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
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.
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.
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
AmEx breaks through the clutter and showing the beneﬁts of being a Card
Member with its useful meeting space in the LVCC.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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: http://www.jackmorton.com/