CES Report: Using Gadgets to Drive a Message

The “CE” in CES stands for “consumer electronics,” but there are a lot more than tech people at the show these days. For one, there are hoards of marketers. It didn’t always used to be that way.

Advertising in today’s mobile digital age was the subject of a second day Digital Hollywood panel, which brought together pros from media agencies such as Optimedia and IPG with reps from Comcast and Microsoft.

CES used to be about the latest gadget, said Andrew Ward of Comcast, but now those gadgets have become important to marketers. They’re attending, and they’re bringing their clients to the show to demonstrate why gadgets are important: because they lets advertisers connect with consumers in new ways.

For Greg Kahn of Optimedia, there’s no longer an “old media” and a “new media,” but just media. Marketers need to follow wherever consumers are going.

What’s making that possible is that gadgets aren’t just gadgets, but platforms. As Russ Axelrod of Microsoft explained, phones now come with platforms that can be used to deliver a message. That’s a new development, and advertisers need to understand how to harness that. For the flip side of that, said Brian Lesser of WPP, advertisers need to know how people are consuming media on those devices. Focusing on the different abilities, strengths, and target audiences of each platform helps advertisers think creatively and deliver new messages.

The challenge is that a fractured landscape of devices and platforms means that creative work needs to be tailored to each one to be effective. The opportunity is that these platforms provide the chance to interact with viewers more deeply.


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  1. So with the “new” feature Comcast released at CES their users will be able to use an ipad to watch TV…as long as they stay at home? OK…Seems odd they can’t offer any more mobility than that. For example, I’m a DISH employee and customer and this Sunday I was able to watch the Packers/Eagles playoff game on my lunch break, LIVE< using my iphone and the TV Everywhere app. Comcast customers still won;t be able to do that, even "later this year" when this is made active.

    Posted by Elias | January 11, 2011, 1:05 pm
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