Fusion: People|Tech|Ideas

Another week in Las Vegas has come and gone. It has inspired us into action for the coming year. From 5G, to rollable TVs and a walking car, we’ve truly seen it all.

This year, we focused on the FUSION of people, technology and ideas. We went beyond the showfloor to unlock key insights and inspiration and brought together industry expertise, tech trends and emerging platforms to help you elevate your brands and drive impact for 2019 and beyond.

Here are some of the key themes we see emerging from CES and the year-ahead, as told by our thought leaders across Publicis Media.

I hope you find them insightful and look forward to working with you in the coming year.

Tim Jones | CEO
Publicis Media Americas

CES 2019 Key Themes:

  • 5G Transforming Everything
  • Auto Bridging Physical World with Digital Experiences
  • Moving from Demographics to Intentions
  • Tech Keeping Our Well Being in Check
  • A New Commerce Reality
  • Top Trends from the Showfloor
  • Actionable Steps for Brands Post CES 2019
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5G Transforming Everything

By Richard Hartell, Global Practice Lead, Strategic Studio, Publicis Media

Wireless technology has become as essential to our daily existence as oxygen. But unlike oxygen, wireless gets upgraded. The next big evolution is 5G, which will deliver exponentially faster connections and the ability to handle much greater data volume across millions of devices all with near instant responsiveness.

Many refer to 5G as the key ingredient in the fourth Industrial Revolution, making it as important as steam, electricity and the microchip were in transforming our lives.

5G is predicted to open up new experiences for many users and communities:

  • Transforming Businesses – from fully automating the supply chain to reinventing talent sourcing and management.
  • Unleashing Omnichannel Retail – smart supermarkets, interactive packaging and drone deliveries will become scalable experiences making every moment shoppable.
  • Reinventing Healthcare – enabling surgeons to carry out procedures remotely or share 3D CAT scans of patients across geographies in real time.
  • Realizing True Connected Living – through unleashing the edge computing, artificial intelligence and IoT across multiple devices.
  • Resetting the Stage for the Winners & Losers of the 4th Industrial Revolution – with the status quo of the Big 4 (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) potentially experiencing their own disruption.

Auto Bridging Physical World with Digital Experiences

By Scott Curtis, Global Head of Digital and Innovation, Spark Foundry

The digitalization of the car is the next frontier, with seemingly unlimited investment from auto manufacturers and software developers alike. The race is on for ownership of the smart vehicle due to the potential it holds. Like the mobile phone, the car is another device that bridges the physical world with its digital capabilities.

  • Voice Quickly Entering the Car. With Samsung’s Digital Cockpit and Alexa turning older cars smart with plug-ins and add-ons, it’s clear brands need to start experimenting with voice as it becomes more prevalent in smart homes, within smart phones and now taking center stage in-vehicle.
  • In-Car Entertainment. More opportunities to entertain drivers and passengers now exist outside of radio. CES saw companies unveil in-car VR, 4G connectivity and unlimited data plans. People’s need to consume content will provide new opportunities for partnerships, content deals, subscriptions, as well as advertising opportunities surrounding the content.
  • Data Along for the Ride. More smart features within a car, means more data. This will help bridge to the physical world and enable advertisers to speak to drivers and passengers based on their current journey and where they’ve been. Not only will data be available dynamically for journeys, but will also be sold for use outside of the car. The big question is who will own it?

Moving From Demographics To Intentions

By Burcu Agma, Group Director, Planning & Insights

Consumers are constantly signaling their intentions through a variety of digital channels, and this behavior is only accelerating. By tapping into these signals, brands can uncover consumer needs, expectations and brand perceptions. According to the latest Performics Intent Lab™ study, in partnership with Northwestern University and Microsoft, consumer engagement greatly increases when matching mindsets to experiences and brands must shift their perceptions.

  • Context Triumphs over Identity: Consumer relevancy changes by the minute even though their identity/demo hasn’t changed. What has changed is context and based on that consumers expect tailored messaging to their intent.
  • Fluid Journey, Fluid Mindsets: Consumers shift their mindsets as they process new information. If we don’t have relevancy in those moments, we’ll lose consumers. Brands must stop focusing only on the concrete, last-click intention, and focus on the entire journey.
  • Match Experiences to Mindsets: Content formats have higher levels of influence based on consumer mindset, so it’s important to continually test different types of content/creative across the journey to uncover the most assistive experience.
  • Leverage Intent Segmentation: A unique keyword cluster that helps brands restructure campaigns to better align message to mindset and create new ad copy and landing page experiences tailored specifically to consumer intent.

Download the full Intent Lab™ “Search as a Behavioral Insights Machine” research.

Tech Keeping Our Well Being In Check

By Bohb Blair, Global Chief Experience Officer, Starcom Worldwide

Today’s connected consumer is unpredictable, messy and awash in contradictions. We love our devices and want them to enhance our experiences in increasingly exciting ways. Culturally, there’s a growing consciousness of tech’s ability to distract and our need to be more present in our real life with real people. Yet, we can’t let go of our ability to keep checking up on our world, our work, our home and our health whenever we want. At CES, we saw innovations designed to meet all these underlying motivations. The key tip for marketers is to lean into how technology can help people immerse themselves in what matters most to them.

Tech that checks us IN

INTEL’s 3D-modeled pixels bring a VR-like experience without gear. Higher resolution large format screens and 4K XR feel hyper-real, making content experiences richer. New full body control interfaces from shoes to the Birdly simulator bring you into games and interactive content like never before. This raises the ceiling of possibility for brands to create memorable experiences people love. Autonomous vehicles transformed into personal theaters will be the next frontier. Think about how that might transform the daily commute.

Tech that helps us check OUT

Today’s connected consumer knows they need to, well…disconnect. And, we saw technology that purposely focuses on freeing people from their devices, enabling them to be more present. Ranging from VR-guided meditation to personal in-home concierge robots to hardware that manages and literally locks up your family’s devices to reduce screen time –  it’s about harnessing technology to free us up to experience the world around us. Think about how tech can make your brand experience hands free and screenless.

Tech that lets us check UP

Smart home technology now touches virtually every aspect of your home and every member of your family (including pets!). This year, we saw wellness technology to monitor body metrics, manage pain, cardiovascular performance and infinite ways to help you sleep. Whether it’s your home or your health, people want to stay connected to the things we care about. With 5G on the horizon, edge devices and clothing-integrated wearables we can expect this connectivity to be enhanced as personal connected ecosystems become commonplace.

The New Commerce Reality

By Amy Lanzi, EVP, Commerce Lead, Publicis Media Americas

The shopper is more empowered and connected than ever. CES 2019 showcased more ways for consumers to create a perfect, connected human ecosystem that suits your every need with smart homes and connected everything powered by data – allowing us to respond to consumer needs faster than ever before. The speed of 5G, AR applications on mobile phones and shoppable social content are also transforming the consumers’ path to purchase proving that the future of commerce is bright. Here are a few trends shaping the landscape for the foreseeable future.

Internet of Things Squared

Machine learning works best when based on small tasks, but there is an emergence of IoT embedded into larger, connected IoTs. Whirlpool Care system  is one example that connects families one dish, one load and one dinner at a time. Partnerships with KitchenAid, Yummily and Amazon Alexa helps consumers keep track of supplies and re-order while you sleep, eat, work or play – creating a larger Shopping ecosystem for brands to deliver enhanced utility to consumers.

Take Better Care

With everything connected we see the shift from collecting data to giving humans super powers by harnessing that data to make us do more, know more and play more.  All of this connectivity enables consumers to take better care of themselves  and their families.  Brands that can shift from products to services will win in the long term by focusing on getting upstream in the consumer journey.  Think about partnerships that deliver services to consumers that  help them learn and grow with their changing needs.

Simon Says

This year, there will be a divide between voice-enabled and voice assistants which will influence the level of importance and adoption by the consumer. The future of commerce is not only understanding the role of voice in the purchase journey, but also understanding consumer patterns to learn and ultimately provide utility to the consumer. Our job as marketers is to learn how to win with the assistants or the algorithms so our brands are always on the promoted list.

Top Trends From The Showfloor

By Tom Goodwin, Head of Innovation, Zenith

CES is about showcasing the latest tech innovations, which doesn’t always correlate well with what people want. Yet this year the key gadgets seemed more aligned to the current zeitgeist.

Digital Serenity

People today seem more stressed, tired, overwhelmed and distracted than ever because we’ve added more media and choices to our lives. From brain wave radiating massage chairs to brain calming headsets to apps aiding mindfulness, there seemed to be a range of products to help us retain calmness.  Brands that help us decide and navigate choice will be more important than ever.

Chinese Imagination

Historically, we’ve seen Chinese companies mirroring what was developed elsewhere, but this year we saw them offering more innovative products – TV companies like Changhong and TCL, drone makers like DJI and handset makers like Huawei seemed to have some of the most outlandish, interesting, bold and pioneering designs – proving brands need to look east for inspiration and in all sectors.

Modular Upgrades

Software can improve products overnight, but not hardware. This year we saw an array of physical add ons to enhance older devices – from parking sensors and adaptive cruise control to FIBARO which connects older devices to Z-Wave, a wireless communications tool used for home automation. Brands should think about the long-term feeling of ownership vs. what they buy once.

Assisted Living

Technology has primarily focused on the young, healthy, wealthy and curious. Changing demographics have led to more tech solutions for the fragile/vulnerable – new wearables for the elderly, an array of personal safety devices (smart canes; Hyundai’s walking car) and the rise of voice as an interface. Brands should work with technology to help solve problems faced by the many, not the lucky few.

Actionable Steps For Brands Post Ces 2019

By John McDonald, EVP, Marketing, Digitas NA

Many marketers leave CES with two overwhelming feelings: 1) guilt over broken New Year’s resolutions for healthy eating and exercise and 2) confusion over how to act in a meaningful way on what they heard from nearly 70,000 exhibitors. Marketers looking to solve immediate challenges are missing the real value of CES as a rare opportunity to recalibrate and think about what’s next vs. what’s now. Below are 3 critical action steps for marketers coming out of CES 2019.

Prepare for Brand-Trust Dilemma

The datafication of everyday life was apparent everywhere @ CES, leading to inevitable questions about privacy security. Brands need a transparent approach to ensure a clear value exchange and be upfront about how they’re using data. Consumers need to feel they’re receiving something tangible in exchange for sharing their information. Allstate’s “Digital Footprint” is a good example.

Embrace Future of Brand Identity

Mastercard unveiled a new wordless logo that will help the brand adapt to new digital environments. The move is indicative of today’s challenges for brands—from smaller smartwatch and smartphone screens to voice-based smart home assistants to AR and VR. It has never been more evident that when building your brand identity you must be digital first and consider not just today’s platforms, but key emerging environments, too.

Build New AR Brand Experiences

CES showed that AR holds immediate promise as a tool for brands to add utility and delight to customer interactions. Hyundai revealed how AR might enhance driver navigation, Connected Garden showed us how us to keep our garden thriving, and Lumus unveiled stylish smart glasses so we can look cool. Brands need to consider how they leverage AR opportunities and the increasing prevalence of digital and real-world convergence.

The Bottom Line

Continue to stay focused on building products, services, and marketing initiatives that meet the new expectations emerging from a more connected, intelligent, and integrated world.


3 days of programming, 10 content sessions, 14 partners, 17 showfloor tours and over 275 clients