CES 2018: The out-of-home perspective

With a strong emphasis on smart cities, there were clear implications for the out-of-home sector at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, writes Ahmad Sayar, VP of Strategy and Innovation at Posterscope US.
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of CES, the largest global gathering of technology and innovation, with over 4,000 exhibitors spanning across 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space. Over 180,000 industry professionals attended in 2017, 58,000 from outside the US, making it truly a record-breaking event.
In simpler terms, CES is unlike any other trade show. Since its inaugural year in 1967, when the show took place in New York City versus Las Vegas, it has set the bar for excellence in technology and innovation, and since then, has grown exponentially.
So, to say that CES 2018 had some big shoes to fill would be an understatement. How would CES 2018 kick off the next 50 years in breakthrough technologies and next-generation innovations? Despite the torrential downpour (first rain in Las Vegas in 116 days) and a two-hour power blackout the following day, CES 2018 was an absolute hit.
With a strong emphasis on Smart Cities, there were clear implications for the Out-of-Home (OOH) industry and multiple brands gave us a glimpse of life in the future.
Transportation, Smarter Cities and OOH
The way we get around is going to drastically change in the next decade. Some of the world’s largest companies are investing heavily in changing how people travel. Virgin is projecting to have three Hyperloop, electric propulsion, high speed, train-like transportation systems in service by 2021 and is continuing to expand its efforts throughout the US and Middle East. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Smart Vision EQ which completely embodies the idea of autonomous. The vehicle lacks a steering wheel and pedals and provides the driver with a fully “hands-off” experience.
But what caught my eye is what Ford is doing with its new mobility services network. Ford has partnered up with the likes of Domino’s, Lyft and Postmates to create a fully autonomous delivery and rideshare economy.
The partnership is powered by its mobility services platform and can provide users with a constant flow of data that includes efficient routes and seamless transitions between vehicles, public transportation and payment nodes, changing the way we’ll move for the better.
To improve the everyday journey, and in collaboration with Qualcomm, Ford’s Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) technology has the potential to help cities around the world create safer, more capable infrastructure and connect vehicles to a larger communications system. It is these such mobility networks that are the key component in the growth and sustainability of smart cities.
As a result, cities can reclaim space that was once solely used for cars and transform the street into a space for people that offers a place to stop, consume and connect. This presents a prime opportunity for the OOH industry to simultaneously expand its efforts and continue to play a key role in the growth of smart cities.
Imagine city centres, void of any vehicles, focused on free moving people and connected through dynamic OOH inventory, which leverages real-time data collected from sensors built into static structures, connected objects or more complex systems like Ford’s C-V2X vision.
The underlying commodity for the OOH industry is the sheer amount of data that will be available.
It is the ability to leverage real-world activities, happening in both a physical and digital space, in real-time, to create a memorable consumer connection. With so much free-flowing data available, the idea of following the consumer journey has never been more real. But the value proposition is not limited to just hyper-targeted messaging; smart cities will influence how OOH media is planned and bought. The goal is to minimise ad waste and maximise effectiveness by leveraging data to pinpoint how your target audience moves throughout the day and reach them at the right time and place.
As leaders and politicians are urged to innovate, improve the quality of life and increase profitability, cities around the world are quickly adopting the smart city initiative. As Ford showcased, there are clear transportation and infrastructure benefits, and continued investments from both the public and private sectors are being made to drive this movement forward.
New York City has seen this first hand with multiple street closures, converted to pedestrian areas, and supplemented with multi-functioning and connected OOH inventory. It is estimated that around three million people are moving to cities every week and approximately 54% of people worldwide now live in cities, up from 30% in 1950. As cities continue to grow and innovate, brands will need to compete even harder to grab the attention of their target audience, and it will be up to the OOH industry to help make that real-world and custom connection possible.
Ahmad Sayar is VP, Strategy & Innovation, Posterscope (US)
Via: MediaTel Newsline

CES 2016: Advertisers can expect more from immersive experiences and connected objects

Jeff Tan, VP Strategy Posterscope USA reports to Campaign Magazine
If there’s one thing that differentiated CES 2016 from other years, it is the scale. CES 2016 was by far the biggest to date; 180,000 attendees and 20,000 new products launched by 3,600 exhibitors.
For advertisers, the explosion of connected devices at this year’s CES shows the potential power of data mining at scale, which gives out-of-home advertisers more opportunity to develop rich, immersive and more personal experiences for consumers.
Here are just a few CES tech categories of particular relevance to advertisers:
Wearable technology
Wearable tech is a category that is exploding, with 20 per cent compound annual growth expected over the next five years. Often using a smartphone as a central intelligence hub, wearables are becoming more affordable, reliable and relevant.
Intel’s new Curie chip (named after Marie Curie) is a tiny processor the size of a button that’s cheap enough to be mass produced and embedded in just about any consumer item. Additionally, the Intel Memory Mirror is a device that could transform the instore shopping experience, letting consumers step in front of the mirror, see themselves in 360°, try on clothes, and see previous try-ons without having to redress.
Samsung demonstrated a new watch that doesn’t require a phone as it has its own connectivity, while other high-end smart wearables from Fossil, Swarovski and Tag Heuer also showed that wearable tech can be fashionable.
This boom in wearables means a major increase in richer data, which can improve both classic OOH and digital campaigns. Richer data delivers better results, and here at Posterscope we have seen spectacular increases of up to 200 per cent for brand KPIs vs. control areas.
Video recording devices?
Consumer recording devices are becoming cheaper, more mobile and better quality. GoPro disrupted Polaroid, and now Polaroid is disrupting GoPro.
The Polaroid Cube is a 35mm HD camera that is water proof, durable, high quality, light weight and can be mounted to almost anything.
Ricoh launched the Theta S 360 Camera the size of a small TV remote control that contains two fish eye cameras. Early adopters now have the ability to easily create 360° HD content.
These new devices could offer advertisers an amazing source of high quality user generated content that can be contextualised and curated for any screen including mobile, digital and OOH. Digital inventory and full motion DOOH is in a prime position to become a content platform in and of itself, both for brands to broadcast from and for users to contribute to.
Immersive experiences: VR and AR
New virtual reality and augmented reality products now offer brands and experiential marketers in particular the opportunity to provide truly immersive experiences for consumers.
At the lower end of the market, the Samsung Galaxy VR offers an affordable introduction to the world of VR. The Oculus Rift is finally launching this year, along with new products such as Leap Motion, and the augmented reality giants Magic Leap and Microsoft HoloLens.
This tech enables brands and experiential marketers to provide interactive, immersive storytelling. It’s already happening, for example, Posterscope’s experiential agency psLIVE used Oculus Rift at Waterloo station to transport commuters to the zip line and high wire courses at a newly opened Center Parcs in Woburn Forest, extending the impact of the wider ad campaign in a fun, enjoyable and tactile way.
Smart cars
Nine automotive OEMs exhibited at CES showcasing their range of semi-autonomous cars. Advertisers need to start regarding the car as another digital media format – a connected device for collecting behavioural data, and delivering information and media.
Smart displays with LTE connectivity and personalised content were a staple of the cars on display at CES.
Groupon and Chevrolet have partnered to provide Chevrolet drivers access to Groupon’s entire marketplace of location-specific deals available through OnStar, the brand’s navigation and connectivity service.
As cars begin to produce more data, advertisers will increasingly be able to increase personalisation and improve the targeting of campaigns, particular in roadside OOH.
Implications for advertisers
CES highlights three broad implications for the OOH industry. First, consumers are expecting high quality experiences everywhere, both in and out of home.
Advertisers need to continue to up their game with producing high quality, immersive, content-rich experiences, and VR is poised to become an important part of the OOH ecosystem by delivering quality consumer experiences.
Second, wearables will provide a bigger variety of data points that advertisers can tap into. Finally, digital media will not just be in the formats we’ve come to expect. Anything will be a digitally immersive experience, from cars to changing rooms.
Advertisers need to think beyond conventional formats and treat any connected device as an opportunity to connect with a human.
Jeff Tan is vice president of strategy for Posterscope
To read the article in Campaign click here

CES – It's No Longer Purely About The Technology

The annual supershow that is CES 2015 finished on Friday (9th January). True to form, a tidal wave of technology was unveiled across the spectrum, including the mandatory oddities like the Selfie Brush and the Sexfit.
Of the range of tech innovations showcased, that will have a much wider influence on our interaction with advertisers and brands, a few were worthy of particular attention from an Out Of Home (OOH) communications perspective:
The Tech
Wearables and watches              
With the exception of Sony’s SmartWatch 3 Steel Edition and the very affordable Alcatel OneTouch watch there was an obvious lack of smartwatches at CES this year, whilst everyone waits for Apple to do the hard-sell first.  There was no shortage of other wearable techs on display however. These were mainly focused on fitness tracking, ranging from the traditional looking Withings Active to updates on existing exercise bands and even a Swarovski crystal studded bracelet.
As these devices mature it is interesting to look at what functions are surfacing as being important to consumers and how advertisers may leverage this.  If counting steps on a daily basis through a fitness tracker becomes commonplace, there’s the potential for an obvious new metric for measurement. Starting your car from your watch could save valuable seconds, and perhaps pressing the button to park your car could also order and purchase your favourite coffee so you can simply collect it, without having to queue. There really is no better time to get your mobile app beacon enabled, ready to be triggered through OOH.
The Internet of Things
One of the big themes at this year’s CES was the kit that takes information about the world around you and your actions in it, and turns it into data. Increasing numbers of consumers’ smart devices will become connected, extending into gadgets such as doors that lock themselves, thermostats that program themselves, cameras that monitor your home for intruders and even coffee machines that allow you to make a freshly ground mug without having to leave your bed.
Broadly known as The Internet of Things (IoT), this presents a huge opportunity for global brands, with the likes of Samsung and Sony outlining plans to dominate the ever increasing ecosystem of ‘things’ in 2015 and beyond. The opportunity for the Out of Home industry is colossal. We’ll soon be surrounded by more data opportunities from an increasingly connected consumer, alongside data from connected homes and the infrastructure which exists out of home. This will create numerous location specific data trails which have the potential to enhance the planning of OOH media and effective creative treatment.
We believe live data sources will continue to be integrated into DOOH content to make it more contextually relevant, and platforms such as Liveposter will make it easier than ever to aggregate real world data from the IoT into DOOH advertising.
Driverless cars are here
2015 was the year that Marty McFly travelled to in the film ‘Back to the Future’. Whilst we can’t yet buy food hydrators, hoverboards or flying cars, car technology was one of the big talking points at CES 2015. BMW, Mercedes and Audi all unveiled visions of their automated cars at the show this year. But automated driving technology embraces more than just a futuristic vision of people sitting in the back seat of a car being driven around – although a driverless Audi did make a spectacular 550 mile drive from San Fransisco to the CES venue in Las Vegas.
Automated driving is likely to have a big impact on OOH. A recent study from Posterscope introduces the new smart car ecosystem and considers how smart cars will collect and generate data that can be used for greater OOH targeting. If automated driving ultimately makes roads safer, we may also see current restrictions loosen around the use of animation on digital roadside screens, allowing for more creative opportunities across one of the largest DOOH environments.
Implications of the latest technologies
Technologies like these hold huge promise for consumers and advertisers alike, but beyond the technologies themselves, there are important and far reaching indications for both. CES is no longer just a place to launch technologies, it has become increasingly about consumers themselves.
The event has outgrown the historic definition of ‘just’ an electronics show; it’s now so much more. Whilst its raison d’être remains to showcase consumer technology, perhaps more crucially CES delivers an annual benchmark of how consumers adopt new behaviours enabled by these technologies.
In the not-too-distant past prodding and swiping a screen was something that earned you strange looks, likewise for talking to a TV or device. Neither seems out of the ordinary today of course, but these new behaviours were first showcased to attendees at CES shows decades ago.
It is the evolution of behaviours towards mainstream adoption, as observed through the dipstick of past CES shows, which should be of most interest to advertisers, not the technologies alone. So with this in mind, and looking beyond the technologies on display to the implications for brands and advertisers, we believe a few key mainstream behaviours will emerge in 2015 for brand consideration:
Actively quantifying our lives
Generating, analysing and understanding personal data such as the number of steps taken or calories consumed, for example, will become accepted and commonplace.
Do think about how data could influence OOH campaign planning, creative content and location selection. Your audience is comfortable using data, so you should be too.  Be careful not to over personalise and fall off the creepy cliff however.
Controlling the real world with our mobile devices
Speakers, heating systems and light bulbs are just a few of the connected devices already present in homes across the country. As more everyday appliances get connected this form of control will move from desirable to expected in the lives of consumers.
Whilst it’s important to understand the role OOH media can play in influencing these new on the go behaviours and mobile interactions with your OOH advertising, IoT is already up and running;  So it’s important to be aware that the internet of things is now about more than your toaster talking to your watch.
 Emerging acceptance of automation
Consumer opinion and attitude has changed drastically in the last year. Driverless cars have moved from a futuristic outlier at CES 2014 to a mainstream component of the show within just one year, highlighting a general acceptance of the automation of simple (and not so simple) tasks by machines.
Whilst industry accepted the value of automation decades ago it has taken much longer for the benefits to be transferred to our everyday lives – and whilst it’s important to consider how consumers will spend their time as a result of automation, experts at CES say ‘don’t worry,’ we are ‘decades if not centuries’ away from robots taking over the world!