Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CES=Creative Evolution Surging

I didn’t go to CES (Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) last week, but seems I didn’t have to, as it’s possible to learn as much (or more) from hashtags and blogs as it is by schlepping out to a conference. Years ago, CES was for geeks only—you didn’t have to grok the latest in television technology to come up with a great commercial for it. But now that technology is part the creative process itself—could W+K have done Nike Livestrong without some awareness of advances in the field of robotics?—recent shows have been drawing increased attention from marketing and creative communities.

One of the most valuable writeups I’ve found on CES 2011 cites trends and implications for marketers. (Tip o' the pillbox to BBH.) The observation most interesting to me, was that “A number of devices allowed consumers to simply move a single experience across phone, TV, or tablet.” The implications of this are cosmic. Because when technology makes seamless “experience shifting” possible, it means that consumers will expect content to seamlessly migrate too. Which ain’t just a matter of resizing screens. (Remember when TV first came out and ad agencies simply made up screen cards of print ads?) Brands will have to be able to provide content that isn’t just “media agnostic” but suited to and crafted for multiple platforms. They'll expect a brand story they see on TV to translate into an experience that makes sense on mobile, that rings bells and whistles of the tablet they're reading on the way to work. Yes, that evolution is in the nascent stage, but, as the writers of the report observe, smart brands will experiment with development now while audiences are still small and forgiving.

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