What should advertisers take from CES?

Howard Kingston: chief marketing officer and co-founder, Adludio
Howard Kingston: chief marketing officer and co-founder, Adludio

Advertisers have a strong presence at CES, with many attending the consumer show in Las Vegas to take stock of the upcoming tech innovations.

Virtual reality in the form of Oculus Rift and Gear VR, new connected car innovations from Audi and Mercedes and wearable tech like Fitbit are set to become mainstream and provide brands with new ways to engage consumers.

However, while we all understand that the way consumers use tech is changing, the ad formats we serve to them have largely stayed the same.

Smartphones arguably altered the relationship between brand and consumer more than any other innovation, but TV ads are routinely repurposed for mobile – despite it being an entirely different environment.

This results in ads that are both too large for the smaller screen and invasive for consumers, as well as video ads that are too long form for consumers on the go.

Opportunities to make use of the touchscreen are lost, negating the interactive nature of mobile devices that is part of the draw for consumers.

Although Google has announced at CES that it will be making video viewability reporting available on its display network, it’s questionable as to whether video in its current form is appropriate, especially on mobile.

The IAB itself has responded by saying that an industry standard for video viewability is "questionable", but perhaps if we think more as an industry about how we serve video in different environments, the reality of a standard will become more likely.

For this to happen we need to move away from repurposing specific TV content without thought and more towards using formats that are made for the environment that they will be consumed in.

Most video content hasn’t been designed for mobile and therefore it’s more appropriate to use options that are solely designed for that interaction with the user.

As we see the exciting new tech devices coming out of shows like CES it will be interesting to see how our industry reacts to advertising on mediums that won’t naturally take repurposed ads, and whether we as marketing innovators should give greater focus using the emerging new ad formats that are designed for these emerging devices.

Hopefully, as these new technologies (mobile, tablets and beyond) move from early adopters to mainstream, we will see advertisers looking for new ways to engage with consumers in a way that is more in line with their behaviour.

Howard Kingston is chief marketing officer and co-founder at Adludio

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