2011 media and technology trends forecast

Each year, the IPG Media Lab issues its trends report. This year, on the heels of the Consumer Electronics Show, we are excited to announce our six big bets for 2011.

From mobile’s rapid transformation from a niche platform to one that is converging with all our online activities, to new technologies that enable brands to interact with consumers in groundbreaking ways, the implications in 2011 for marketers and brands are breathtaking. Twenty years ago, technologist Mark Weiser wrote, “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” 2011 is the year our traditional media and consumer tools begin to disappear—2011 is the year loyalty cards, cable boxes, and feature phones jump the shark; at the same time, mobile, gaming, and digital behaviors are now majority activities across all demographics. As these behaviors become ingrained and interdependent literacies, they are changing consumers and brands for good.

The Lab’s 2011 trends examine the changing communications landscape through the prism of technology, industry, and consumer developments. Here are six trends that illustrate the convergence of these parallel forces: Continue reading “2011 media and technology trends forecast”

Reports of CES’ death greatly exaggerated

The techie masses at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show seemed burdened by a general sense of disappointment. Minds were not blown. The digital firmament was not torn asunder. Wallets were not gripped tightly in fearful anticipation of the imminent need to drop a paycheck’s worth of earnings on the new must-have, show-stopping electronic object of lust.

Of course, there was still plenty to see and much technical wizardry on display, but we are a furiously jaded audience. The escalating pace of innovation has created an expectation that each new generation of products will create both terrified awe and wondrous delight. For example, it was a few short months ago that Microsoft started promising the future of gestural control via Kinect, a new peripheral for the Xbox 360. A completely new interface went from the pages of sci-fi to the pages of a Toys-R-Us sales circular overnight. Just four months after its release, few people seemed to crowd the Kinect booth. CES attendees don’t want amazing. We want new amazing.

Continue reading “Reports of CES’ death greatly exaggerated”

Will Apple poach broadcast users?

With all the fury surrounding Apple’s latest announcements, we thought it would be fitting to recap the highlights and debate some of the opinions spewing out so far.

iTunes 10 & Ping: A social network for music

Some will call this a MySpace killer (available for upload now) but in this current configuration, I don’t think that is the case. After playing with the product and reading comments online, I think Apple’s insistence on a simple user experience in comparison to MySpace’s cluster of over personalization, went a little too far and features that should have been left in were left out. For example, there’s currently no easy way to follow people I actually know.

Apple claims on their site that there is a Facebook Connect feature allowing you to search for your Facebook friends easily. Well, this turns out not to be the case as Apple did not follow processes necessary to turn this feature on with Facebook. Namely, because Ping “pings” the Facebook API to such a significant degree, the social network requires Apple to pay for the service, something which was not negotiated ahead of time but I’m sure is in development now. Until this is resolved, I can only find my friends by entering in their email address one by one until I find someone. Yesterday, my friend from Berlin tracked me down so I officially have one real Ping friend. Continue reading “Will Apple poach broadcast users?”

A GPS to navigate your supermarket

It’s easy enough to use GPS to get from your house to a supermarket, but how about a GPS that can locate the products you want once you’re in that supermarket?

Today, midwest supermarket chain Meijer launched a mobile application called “Find-It,” which helps shoppers navigate the shelves of four of it’s biggest Michigan stores. The program includes a database of 100,000 products and also directs consumers to the supermarket’s most enticing promotional offers and sale items.

The app runs on the iPhone, iPhone Touch, and Android devices, and was built by Point Inside– a company that until now built its business on apps mapping interiors of large airports and malls throughout the country. Point Inside’s maps utilize interactive touch screens, and typically help consumers find specific stores, as well as rest rooms, escalators, and various interior points of interest. Continue reading “A GPS to navigate your supermarket”

WSJ: New technology lures shoppers to stores

Originally published by the WSJ:

Marketing companies are experimenting with a new wave of digital technologies to pitch to consumers while they shop: interactive dressing-room mirrors, kiosks with virtual customer-service representatives, and shopping carts and digital scanners that offer personalized discounts.

These futuristic technologies are among the interactive tools on display at Interpublic Group of Cos.’ new retail center at the advertising company’s Media Lab in Los Angeles.

There, Interpublic is testing innovative ways for marketers to connect with customers as part of an effort to better understand what makes consumers buy and to encourage companies to rethink their approaches to the role of the retail store.

Read the full story on wsj.com and see the WSJ video below.

Data is the new black….cyan, magenta, and yellow

Historically, ads have been closed systems. The information contained in the ad itself is fixed. Most of the interactivity in digital ads to date has been limited to the ability to link somewhere or to engage with content elements that were included in the unit at the time it was trafficked. But anyone who has ever looked at billboard that had a clock or thermometer knows the power of real time information to capture attention.
There is a new generation of rich media providers who now enable advertisers to pipe up-to-the-moment content into digital display ads. The number of data sources available by API is growing every day – weather, traffic conditions, UV index, Tweets, Facebook updates, you name it! The next generation rich media companies are working hard to make it easy for advertisers to incorporate these feeds while assuring the ads never break.
Continue reading “Data is the new black….cyan, magenta, and yellow”

Making shopping a science

This month, along with the announcement of our retail alliance with AOL, Mediabrands unveiled of a new shopper market agency called Shopper Sciences. Retail veteran and Mediabrands EVP, John Ross will head the agency which will focus on the key influence factors in shoppers’ journey from undecided to decided.

Utilizing a range of tools from across Mediabrands, and relying heavily on the Lab, the new shopper marketing agency will have the ability to pinpoint the media sources that move a shopper from indecision to decision, evaluate the barriers to purchase at different points within the purchase cycle.   The agency will use influence research to reveal points where the shopping process fails to meet consumers’ needs.  By also partnering with Geomentum it will provide clients with location-based insights and customer traffic to retail locations.

The Lab sat down with John Ross to discuss the future of the Shopper Sciences Agency. Continue reading “Making shopping a science”

Innovative campaigns from Cannes

This week the advertising industry descended upon the French coastal city of Cannes for the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. For a complete list of winners, click here, or check out what caught our attention by clicking on the slideshow below. Note: To see commentary expand the slideshow to full screen and click on “Show Info” in the upper right hand corner.

Meet the next generation of retail shopping

As reported this week in Forbes.com, IPG Media Lab along with our parent company, Mediabrands is joining forces with AOL to create the next generation of retail shopping tools. Our hope is to make it easier for shoppers to get the information they need to make smart choices while harnessing the best of traditional retail advertising with the latest in online and social media technology.

We want not only to build a better, smarter experience for consumer, but a more effective advertising vehicle for retailers themselves. With average circulation of larger newspapers on the decline (down nearly 8.7% according to an Audit Bureau of Circulations study) the media has spent much time wringing its hands over the future of print. What we don’t talk about is what that might mean for retail advertisers. Retailers have spent billions of dollars over the years teaching shoppers to look in the Sunday newspaper for the latest news about what’s on sale in their city. Retailers have relied on print because it has a focused immediacy that online can’t provide; it promotes timely sales, serves as a metaphor for the retail season and even educates sales people. Television, radio, and even banner ads have never been able to make up the difference from a low-tech free standing insert or full page ad in the daily and Sunday papers. As a result, for decades, very little has changed in the regular weekly newspaper insert, or the coupon mailers that go to American homes each week. Continue reading “Meet the next generation of retail shopping”