Coming to Cannes Lions 2016 as an engineer, serious about and around technology, one expects the pretty side of life, body cult, unfulfilled statements, more style than life and many, many great ideas lost to campaigns and stuff. Reflecting some impressions along my topic for this conference (Will machine be creative?) and astonishingly, I found ad maximizing technology with the potential to even lead the industry on the human aspects of it.
To start with, two companies leading artificial intelligence, Google and Facebook, derive their cash-flow from ad. No myth what this competence will be used for. There’s even speculation that Google might make more revenue in years to come with ai than ads. People will refine algorithm and artificial minds, minds will take care for streams and consumers. One question being who owns the artificial mind in future, the agency or Google?
Ad companies missing capability to sample data in the first place and to extract gold nuggets from that stream, may find themselves dependent on Google or falling out of their revenue cloud. Data management is a big thing in ad and you’ll find some of the best examples on how to use in this industry. There’s presence of the big IT guys in Cannes, with the signaling flag for the race.
The same time there’s huge growth potential for ad and communication, as even the last consumer electronic shop recognizes the impact of user experience and how technology relates to a compelling experience. Ad, next to gaming, it’s the place to explore the combination of future visual and interaction technologies:
Like there’s pre-development in some industries, there needs to be pre-marketing. Communicating new concepts directly from the early development pipe to inspire clients and give them context about future developments. Costs for prototypes can be leveraged for inspiration and solidification. The challenge for former uni-directional casters being, to gather feedback and feed this back to the development of products.
Visualization and interaction technologies like 360°, Drones, VR, AR, Bots etc. will be explored for ads and communication, before becoming part of products. Usability and RoI at this stage are no consideration, rather awareness, inspiration and the feeling for future use and potential benefit.
You find ad in virtual and in real augmented worlds. How to create trust and a compelling user experience, talk to ad. How to combine virtual and real, augmenting real worlds with virtual offers and interactions, talk to ad. This knowledge will lay ground on building solutions like signaling, shopping, navigation and modal traffic. Ad will be the „how to“ for living and acting in both worlds.
For media to survive and for adds to arrive, the mood, the situation and even the context of the consumer has to be understood and the message has to specifically meet these findings. That’s a technical and even more cognitive challenge, which, when solved, will provide huge re-design potential for the dry, uninspired world of business applications.
Ads can play. Less exposed to liability issues, impressions and feedback can be gathered with less risk of loosing face or image. Creativity in the end is about unique experiences for consumers. The ad business in future will be about unique experiences for the individual and unique feedback for even better products.
So I’m getting back to BaWue with a different view on this industry. Conventional ad practices will likely shrink, but ads exploring future use of technology, modeling the user experience and augmenting life perspective of consumers will become a market to grow. And might even become a field for people focusing on product innovation.
2016/06/27 by Eberhard Frank