Collective Intelligence: Marketing Insights & Ideas to Help Brands Thrive

CI Conversations: CES 2023 Sets the Tone for the Future

January 30, 2023 Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG) Season 2 Episode 2
Collective Intelligence: Marketing Insights & Ideas to Help Brands Thrive
CI Conversations: CES 2023 Sets the Tone for the Future
Show Notes Transcript

Michelle Tang, McCann’s Chief Growth Officer, Brian Hughes, MAGNA’s EVP of Intelligence and Audience Strategy and Chad Stoller, Global Chief Innovation Officer at UM join CI Conversations host Jennifer Sain to discuss how CES 2023 surprised with a focus on tech for practical uses over tech to impress. 

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[00:00:00] Intro: Welcome to the Collective Intelligence Podcast from IPG. We deliver marketing insights that help modern brands thrive. In this episode, you'll hear about the latest perspectives featured at Listen, then log on to find new opportunities for your brand to stand out.  


[00:00:22] Jennifer Sain (Host): Hello and welcome to the Collective Intelligence Podcast for another episode of CI Conversations. I’m your host Jen Sain, and today I will be talking about all things c e s 2023 with Michelle Tang, Chad Stoler, and Brian Hughes. Welcome everyone. I am so glad you're all here. I think this is going to be a fantastic conversation. To get us started. I would love it if each of you could introduce yourselves. Hi Michelle. Can you kick us off?  


[00:00:50] Michelle T: Of course. Hi. Thank you so much for having me. My name is Michelle Tang. I'm the Chief Growth Officer for McCann. 


[00:00:58] Brian H: Hi there, uh, Brian Hughes from Magna. I lead an audience intelligence and strategy there. 


[00:01:04] Chad S: and I'm Chad Stoller. I'm the Global Chief Innovation Officer at UM. 


[00:01:09] Jennifer Sain (Host): all right, great, well, thank you all. Okay, so CES 2023. So Rolling Stone, perhaps cynically called CES this year an “old dog with not a ton of new tricks, but, but from what I've seen in the post-event analysis,” looking deeper, that's not really accurate. Perhaps the tech didn't blow minds, but the trends in the tech that was presented did show some shifts that I think speak to larger overarching trends that are actually really important. Dar Lee and Elah Horowitz from a can world group and others identified a shift from tech that wows to tech for good, and it seems that there was more of a focus on consumer experience and how the tech really has an impact on the consumer's. And I would love to dive into all of that more, see if you agree, disagree, and all the nuance in between. Um, but first, why don't we kick it off by just saying what kind of really surprised you about the event this year? Whether it was the activations, the tech, the conference itself.  Michelle, could you start us off with that?  


[00:02:11] Michelle T: Absolutely. So I think the first thing I would say is I was experiencing CES through the lens of, yes, a growth person who's focused on new business and looking for, you know, cool things that are more applicable, opportunities for clients, things like that. But I was also there sort of in my face as, as a mom, as a woman of color, looking at what was being brought to the forefront. And I think one of the things that I took away from it was, To your point around tech for Wow, to tech for good, how accessibility, how diversity and equity and inclusion really came into play this year and became such a core part of not just what was talked about, but the technology and the showcases themselves. 

[00:03:02] Jennifer Sain (Host): Uh, Michelle, speaking of DEI, did you see anything, um, within the audience of CES that was different from last year's? Perhaps more representation or do you think that the conference still has a ways to go to in terms of audience inclusivity?  


[00:03:17] Michelle T: You know, it's interesting because I think the last CES I went to was 2019. right? So it's also been a couple years since I've been. I didn't attend last year. So for me, that jump from 2019 to 23, just walking around the floors, there definitely was a shift in the people who were there. It was a much more diverse attendee collection than I've seen in the past. 


[00:03:46] Jennifer Sain (Host): All right. So in terms of what surprised you, Brian, do you wanna take it next? 


[00:03:51] Brian H: Rolling Stone says that as if it was a bad thing. I, you know, I think, um, you know, perhaps the surprising bit for me based on what I've read and, and, and heard from colleagues like Chad is that it was kind of more grounded, I think in technology and stuff that's probably closer to being really applicable in our everyday lives. And, uh, and I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing. I mean, if, if. If I have heard correctly from Chad that, you know, in his extensive CES experiences, that's the kind of stuff that really ends up taking off at the end of the day. And he can certainly fill you in on some of the really interesting history there. But, you know, I think that that's, uh, perhaps a, a good thing in the long run.  


[00:04:30] Chad S: Chad, I definitely wanna dig deeper into that rolling stone quote, and frankly, should Rolling Stone really be throwing stones on CES right now? I mean, I got, I've got some questions about Rolling Stone. But, uh, but more importantly, like, I think that this was a CES in a way. 

I feel like it was expected. You know, I don't think that, you know, we also have to keep in mind that a lot of innovation hasn't necessarily accelerated at the pace of years past, so there isn't as much. Oh, wow. Right? And we see that in other industries too. Like we're seeing the entertainment industry start to catch up. We're seeing that very much like this year, this year in the world of video games is really starting to catch up. We're seeing all these games that were pushed back from last year. Now, coming out this year, like it's gonna be a crazy second quarter. But I think when we look at CES this year, you know, the thing that that stood out to me was the attendance was down, was, it was remarkably down. It was 175,000 people in 2019, and I think this year it was like around 115,000. So it was down. And you have to question is that because of people not coming from other countries? Is it because of Covid? Because of fear of COVID? There's a lot of, there's a lot of. But the part that surprised me is that CES historically has been kinda like the, uh, the US opener business, you know, especially when it comes to the marketing business. Cause I always like to say that marketers and agencies we're all kinda barnacles on the boat of innovation of cs, right? It's like we don't make TVs. We don't buy TVs, we don't sell TVs, and we don't write articles about TVs every day. Right. Which is kinda like the, of what the foundation of CES is. We go there, becauses it is the future of attention. Like, it's like what's we care platform then content will following, will follow, et cetera, et cetera. But the industry, you know, the numbers were down and so I think that it just also, I, I'm still trying to work out in my head, is this just because people didn't wanna come out to CES? Or is it more of a bellwether or an indicator that the importance of CES is going away? Because there's been other industries that were affected by Covid to the point where, you know, if you go, once again, going back to the game industry, E3 is now essentially disappearing. It's as a fan event, but CES the last 10 years has competed with internet for product releases and CES would be the first time you’d hear about something, and see something. So, now it's really become the first place where you see something, because you've already heard about it because a product has been announced, leveraging the audience availability of the internet and social platforms, that it makes sense for brands to not compete with the new cycle of CES. So what happens is, is that when people show up at CES nowadays, and I think this is what that Rolling Stone article is kinda pointing to is people show up at CES and they're like, I've seen that. I've seen that. I've seen that. But really what they're trying to say is, I've heard of that and now this is the first I'm seeing. So I just think that that's kind like a bigger picture the way like this is like my 23rd or 24th CES and not to age myself. But the fact is, is that like, that's kind of like how I walked away from CES being like, there's something different here and I'm still trying to put my finger. 


[00:07:43] Jennifer Sain (Host): So that's interesting. So we've talked about perhaps the relevance of CES and, and then just kind of looking at the logistics and, um, audience makeup, but kind of turning it to the tech. And even if this is tech that, you know, perhaps in the future is not showcased necessarily at the conference, but even pre-conference or whatever or whatever venue. In terms of the tech itself, was there any innovations that just kind of stood out to you? I had read that there was a lot actually from John Deere in terms of the agriculture and um, farming space. And that was, I mean, from my perspective of, you know, not knowing what I don't know, that was kind of surprising to me. Can any of you speak to that? 


[00:08:23] Chad S: I can, I can talk a little bit about it. So John Deere, you know, announced a new enterprise grade tractor series that's autonomous and does all things that people need tractors to do, and it's the need of, you know, creating more autonomous fleets. Um, so. You know, you start removing some of the human issues that are directly related to farming and you create better efficiencies and so forth. But I think that the, uh, thing that like is really interesting about reading that John Deere stuff, is that looking at a, I mean, I think the first thing is like, look at John Deere. Like John Deere started showing up eight years ago. People like, why is John Deere here? And now they're keynoting at CES, right? So it's kinda a really cool thing. How companies can truly transform. And I think it's a wonderful, there were people inside John Deere who basically said, the future of this business is this. You know, people had to look, you know, you know, into a very long future into saying, ok, this is where we're gonna be. And I think that, uh, John Deere is accelerating a whole new wave of, um, autonomous industrial products that you are seeing now. Starting to have like a little bit of like its vapor trail turning into other products. So, There's John Deere on one side, which is keynoting at CES, but then at the same time, you can go over to the sands, upper upper hall in that pavilion, and you could see about five to six different manufacturers who all had some sort of like consumer grade lawn device, home device. So, these were devices that were autonomous lawnmowers, autonomous snowblowers, autonomous leaf blowers. And this just the idea that you're just gonna basically the same way. Like it wasn't too crazy 10 years ago. Actually, it was really crazy 10 years ago when we said you were gonna have a robot vacuum, that when you leave the room, it's gonna sense you've left a room and it's gonna clean up after you. And now pretty easy to walk into a Best Buy, buy one of those products, or have it delivered to you within two days. So is the future five years from now that we're gonna open up our garage doors and just tell our lawnmower to go to work?  

[00:10:23] Jennifer Sain (Host): There's a thought. Um, you know, speaking of the, you know, autonomous farming equipment and the perhaps trickling down to, you know, lawn equipment that the everyday person would use. I think that speaks again to kind of this technology for good and really touches on, um, accessibility. Michelle, I believe you have some thoughts about that, that we had talked about previous, can you talk more about the accessibility that you saw at the conference?  


[00:10:50] Michelle T: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think there was definitely more focus on accessibility in terms of how do we be more inclusive. For one and for another. How do we bring more people into various technologies? So I'll give you a couple examples of the things that we saw. For example, L'Oreal launched at CES a lipstick applicator for people with limited mobility, right? That type of inclusiveness, I don't think has been seen at CES at the scale that it was shown this year. Um, there were others, for example, AjnaLens, which was a company that was all about how do they use a mixed reality headset to do skills and job training for unemployed youth. So there was a lot of technology there. That was, to my point earlier, much more practical and  with immediate impact, that opened the aperture for different groups and audiences to participate. 


[00:11:52] Jennifer Sain (Host): Fantastic. In terms of even just healthcare in general, was there anything particularly notable in the healthcare space that anyone you know, is really surprised by, or really think can have an impact in this, this future of tech for good? 


[00:12:05] Michelle T: Yeah. I mean, I, I'll, I can take that one. I think one thing that I found really interesting in the healthcare space is it was very much, direct to consumer, which I don't think was the case in the past. And it was so much about empowering, um, the, the human or the patient, right? So there was so much technology about handing health data directly to people and like we sort of have already started that with your, with your health app on your iPhone, et cetera. But like this took it to a whole new level. So there were two in particular that really stood out. One was neurologic a Nora, which was an app where you take a 30 second video scan of your face and it gives you all of your. So things like not just, you know, your heart rate, et cetera, but like what is your risk of hypertension? What is your risk of stroke? I think about that from the lens of like being a mom and being able to have like health data at your fingertips is such an interesting thing because it's not, I'm not reliant anymore on my doctor or my pediatrician. It kind of empowers the, the consumer or the patient in a way, and I think that was a lot of the technology that we saw, things that kind of put the power of, of having this information back on consumers.  


[00:13:24] Chad S: I'm just gonna build on that because, uh, our team, the, the lab team came away with, this was like the first year that our healthcare is shifting away from wearables to awarables, which I thought was just a really nice way to kinda look at the category. Cause they felt that there was much more of an effort being made about taking information and not only sharing it for remote monitoring of, of chronic. But also about sharing information between devices and like, so for instance, uh, LG was doing some interesting things where it was getting to this point of like, if it can detect that people haven't moved in a room, appliances could react accordingly. So that was something where, you know, I mean, it, it also is kinda like if you fell asleep, your TV should turn off, your lights should dim, but all these things to kinda create better environments just for your overall health. There was also, there was, uh, something that I thought was really interesting. There was a company that was called No Watch, which was making a watch, and the purpose of the watch was that it didn't tell you time, it only told you your conditions and it gave you everything through some sort of visual metaphor system, which I thought was also interesting, which was about kind of like, how can you start putting health products in places that aren't also trying to do too many other things. Um, so somebody might feel that like, they don’t want to wear a wearable, because they're being tracked or they don’t want a wearable because they don’t want constant notifications, maybe they could just wear a wearable because they just want to make sure your conditions are being monitored or you have better awareness of certain things.  


[00:14:55] Michelle T: And, and just to add on a little bit more, I think underlying a lot of that was like this concept of like care, right? So I was like thinking about we're coming out of this global pandemic and like there was definitely a bit more of like, you know, wellbeing as a center of  technology. Like in the years past it was so much about like automation and efficiency. How do I make my life easier so I can do more? And then now this year it was very much more about. How do, how do we enable simplicity and, and like wrap you in a hug almost with the technology.  


[00:15:31] Brian H: Yeah, I was just kinda thinking I was have, I have to wonder, you know, you mentioned the pandemic and obviously that led to a kind of a big rise in telehealth and so you have to wonder with all this other health data kind of being at our fingertips, how does that change how we interact with our physicians and the healthcare system in general going forward? 


[00:15:49] Chad S:  One of the other criticisms that's definitely been out, or has been discussed about CES has been the focus on the short term versus the long term, which is like, we saw a lot of products that are kinda available today, but a lot of manufacturers were increasing availability. So one which goes into health tech, and I think it also goes into a post-COVID type of need is air quality. I think like air quality is also something that is being pushed by a lot of different weather services. It's being pushed by even the apps on our phones. Like, so, you know, Android weather or iOS weather is always gonna give you air quality, alert people sell, um, air quality sensors for, um, everything from, you know, your home automation systems and things like that. But I saw a lot of manufacturers showing their air purifiers and one thing that was interesting was that also a movement about doing so presence detection to turn on air quality devices and you know air sanitizers, air cleaners, air purifiers. So it was very interesting to see products really starting to have that natural relationship where they're gonna talk with each other. Versus it trying to be a hack where it's kind of like you as the user should designate what your workflow is. So when I walk in, you know, this light turns on, this does this, this does this. Like that's a wonderful thing to put out there. If you're a developer or if you're somebody who enjoys hacking those things together. What consumers want are simple products that it's like when this happens, this happens. So there's a line of temperature devices and things from a company called Govee, which is like a very popular Amazon seller. Everything from like, you know, humidity sensors, temperature sensors, like location things and stuff like that. And they were showing that all of their air purifier all came with movement sensors, so you’d put them on doors. So when the doors so open, they know turn on device. Things like that in the at home, the healthcare space, they start to work together a little bit and I feel like we're gonna start removing some of the need to actually configure devices to work together, to basically having, um, very easy, easy to build systems. 


[00:18:00] Brian H: And of course there's a lot there that could, you could see happening down the line in terms of data signals, right? For marketers, because we're already using it like stuff like air quality and stuff like that to trigger ads. So you know, you have how much more data this sort of starts to bring into the ecosystem. How we can leverage, of course in a privacy-safe way.   


[00:18:20] Jennifer Sain (Host): So, Chad, you had just said a phrase, kind of going from the short term to the long term, which I wanna kind of want to take us into a completely different direction than what we've been talking about. And that's the metaverse. And I think, you know, with the pandemic and with, you know, when we were really in the center of it, you know, there was this concern about when we'd be able to gather in person again and, you know, the Metaverse became this, you know, solution for that. And there was a lot of buzz about that. And a lot of buzz certainty, anticipated buzz going into last year's. Um, you know, just to say what was the presence of the metaverse at CES? Was it there or was it not there? Um, and maybe if it was there, was it more of this kind of long-term look rather than that short-term, “this is the answer.” 


[00:19:06] Chad S: So I think the best way to address that question is, To separate, separate the concept of a metaverse to what are components that contribute to a metaverse experience, because I feel like at CES there wasn't a real metaverse presence. There were various vectors that go into creating, creating and fulfilling, you know, what the, what the concept of what a metaverse is. Cause there truly is no answer about let's go to the metaverse. Like, that's just, that's just not, not, not a real statement. So we saw some areas, some areas of crypto. Um, you know, while it is a, you know, there are people who are hoping for life. And so there are, there are some people there that, that were, they're doing some very interesting things. There was a lot of identity products that were there. So in terms of creating 3D avatars, 3D profiles, we saw some of those, uh, type of developers and, um, product suppliers. There were some visualization companies that were there that were looking to provide some mixed reality. Not only headsets, I didn't see very many headsets, but I think that most of those companies were, were in private, you know, hotel suites and things like that. There were a couple of different, like dashboard display companies that were able to create visual spaces so you can have digital presence represented and stuff like that. So I feel like the best answer is to say that, you know, there were bits. There are bits of things that basically could all contribute to that because I think that no one really knows where the, nobody knows where the answer is, where everything is eventually gonna go, but people know there's gonna be parts to get us there. 


[00:20:47] Jennifer Sain (Host): Michelle or Brian, do you have anything to add to that?  


[00:20:51] Michelle T: I think Chad's way of like breaking it down into the component parts, right? Because I think there were, it, it was such, it was a big buzzword at CES, but I felt like what was on the show floor was much more component parts of it. Um, I felt like VR AR probably had a bigger presence, um, throughout the show, whereas like Metaverse was just, it, it's still a little bit of this, um, higher order concept that I don't know was really brought to life in a really cohesive way. 


[00:21:24] Jennifer Sain (Host): Perfect. Um, and actually I'd love that segue into AR and VR. I was just wondering. If there was any notable innovation, um, in that space that you'd wanna talk about? Um, and then also kind of related, you know, TVs might have been, you know, the old stalwart of CES and I'm just curious if they remained to be. And so anything in that kind of, um, entertainment media space, if you just felt that, was it the Rolling stone flavor of "no new tricks” or, uh, was there? 


[00:21:59] Chad S: it's, it's really hard to get excited about like TVs and things like that at CES nowadays only because you always have the question of the technology is outpacing the content creation space. So it's like, there was some amazing, I think there was like a, a 110 inch, um, uh, a K o lead, you know, which is like that. That's always. Something to get people to come into their booth, take a picture of, and then while they're there they see the products that are actually really available. But it's like when you see such high quality content rendered or, or filmed an AK and then see it, and you see it from the appropriate distance where you can actually see the k difference, it's pretty amazing. It's super impressive. However, It's like most people are still getting streaming content in 10 80. There's still a lot of people still getting it at 720. I mean, it's just until the internet, uh, you know, internet bandwidth really opens up content production increases, we're not gonna really see the next boom in terms of television resolution that people are gonna upgrade for. But at the same time, you know, five years ago, people would say to me, why do I need a 4K tv? I'm not gonna buy a 4K tv. You can't not buy a 4K tv now. You really can't, unless you were going in and you wanted to get a television for under $125 or you're gonna find 1080p panel that's probably gonna be around 18 inches or something. And most people are gonna retrofit and put it someplace where you might, not normally a tv, but you can go out and buy a 4K TV with HDR amd you’re going to spend under another $200 and you're gonna have a really, really good television. 


[00:23:27] Brian H: I mean, I thought one of the more sort of significant announcements from my perspective that was necessarily one of the most, you know, sexy from a technology standpoint was the fact that, you know, Roku announced that they were gonna be starting to make their own TVs. Um, you know, obviously they've been in the, they started out in the standalone device. Uh, you know, arena and then they've been kinda seeing a lot of growth and just having their operating system and other manufacturers television sets and, you know, we see from a consumption perspective that you, smart, integrated TV are really where the consumption is happening. So, you know, it made a lot of sense, I think, for them to go in that direction. And, uh, I think, you know, this kinda just generally moving towards, you know, uh, building what Chad said. Yeah. You buy a tv, not only is it 4k, but it's like you put it on the wall and it’s already hooked up to the internet, 5G right away. There's very little you have to do to just get all the content you want.  


[00:24:21] Jennifer Sain (Host): So kind of taking the lens back a little bit, um, to kind of what we do on our, in our daily work. If you needed to impart one, one thing to your clients and your individual areas of expertise, um, coming out of, out of CES, what would it be?  


[00:24:40] Michelle T: I can, I can go first, I think. The, the thing that I would say, and it's interesting because we, so McCann World Group had done, we did 10, what we call Safaris, right? I think every agency does tours and we really treated it like a safari with, uh, over a hundred of our clients with 20 of our best and brightest scouting the floor. And like when we came back together, one of the things, the biggest takeaway we had around CES this year was it just felt like CES grew up a little bit. It was no longer just like flash and Wow. So going back to what Dar and Alaw have talked about in terms of like tech for wow, tech for good, but it was just like this more practical CES. Um, and maybe that's a little bit of coming out of. The pandemic and like utility became so important during the pandemic, but it definitely felt like there was a lot more applicability to the things that we saw and more short term applicability than we've seen in the past.  

You know, I mentioned the McCann World Group Tech safaris earlier. I went on one of their tours and it was such a great way to just walk the floor with an expert and get a point of view. We actually are doing a virtual version of that. You should um, we'll share the link, but it's an incredible way we're also sharing it within the metaverse. And it really talks about some of the themes I've touched on today. This was curated by 20 of our best and brightest led by our futures team. And the, the whole conversation we've had is around how 2023 is the year that CES grew up. They talk through kind of how this is about less hype and  more help, less form and more function. I would encourage everyone who's listening to this podcast to also go watch that particular recording. 


[00:26:36] Brian H: Yeah, I would add, I mean we, we, you kind of alluded to the, the more like technology for good, uh, you know, sort of thing, uh, earlier, and I think kind of sustainability and, you know, doing good works and stuff like that is really something that we're seeing through our own research that consumers are expecting, you know, from brands and big companies. And so I, you know, I would say a big takeaway for our advertiser clients is that, you know, people are paying attention to that sort of thing and they will sort of speak with their wallets on that front. 


[00:27:03] Chad S: I think that one of the things we don't talk about enough is that in the past three years we've raised the floor in terms of the general consumer's understanding about technology and what it can deliver. So what that also means is that there's a byproduct of that, which is people are less impressed. And so I think this CES has led to a bunch of people being less impressed, where there are people are saying, oh, I've seen this before. I've seen that before. More people have become more tech savvy, more aware of what technology can do, what the limitations are. And I think we combine that with disruptions caused from Covid, like, you know, from innovation, innovation, stalling a little bit. Plus you also look at things with a lot of, uh, technology companies with a lot of the layoffs that were announced in the, the fourth quarter last year. Put a little bit of a damper on it, so. I don't know what the best takeaway is, but I do think that if anybody is disappointed in the pace of innovation or disappointed in the stage of tech, I think they have to give this year a pass. And I think we have to really wait for a trend to develop because I think there's some great things to come. And there also are still a lot of hurdles. You know, we're still limited by battery power. Battery power is a, is just like something that, you know, battery capacity is just, is it's, it's a real challenge, right? It's a real engineering challenge that has to be solved. But then at the same time, we also have to look at like the state of our infrastructure inside, inside the United States in terms of internet bandwidth and more. So there are some real challenges that have to be solved that are, that are. Keeping innovation back a little bit, but I think that there's a lot more great things to come. I think that, you know, we're just, we just witnessed a year where maybe attendance was a little bit down, innovation was a little bit slowed and there were a lot of companies, just going back to one of my earlier points, there's a lot of companies that don't see CES as a practical investment just because they don't have to spend that kinda money in order to get the attention that they need. And that's why we saw a lot of companies that are, that are traditionally there, not there, because they just know that they can almost have their own event.  


[00:29:14] Jennifer Sain (Host): So kind of, you know, we've talked a lot about this, this tech for good, um, and practical solutions. And Chad, you just identified some of the challenges  that are perhaps, you know, specific to this year or perhaps even going forward. But I was wondering, you know, just from purely the standpoint of fun, was there anything that was just fun or exciting? Yeah, just kind of in that vein.  


[00:29:39] Chad S: I always love the absurd. You know, like that, that, to me, it just brings me back to the roots of like, when I first went to CES and like one of my favorite things, and I'm sure everyone coming off the holidays, if you're like me, you have to watch Gremlins every December. Cause it's like I just, I just do. And there's always that great scene where, um, his father calls, And he's calling from a phone booth at a trade show and there's robots walking in the background and stuff like that. And that's CES. He's at CES. And I always kinda love that. So I always look for, look for the absurd. And I just tease my team all the time with like Best in show, best in show. And so my favorite was there was a company that made a smart toaster. And I was just thinking if there's any device that isn't simple enough, it's a toaster, but somebody goes outta their way to actually create a toaster with a touch screen that's connected by wifi. It's got all, everything that you would expect a smart toaster to have, and that was their lead product to get you in their booth. And I just like, I, I love things like that. But on the, on the other side, on more of the practical things, I go back to the John Deere thing, just, it's just like, I just think it's a tremendous story for a brand decided to shift technology as to truly their brand. And I feel like that's really, really big things to come both at, like, you know, an enterprise industrial level, but then eventually as that starts to work its way down into mid-market, I think that's going to be a really big game changer for not only John Deere, but also for the farming industry, which I think has been left behind with a lot of technology. When it comes to actual, uh, work development, I mean, there's actually a lot of stuff that goes on in farming on the software side, and we also on like, you know, with mapping and, uh, a lot of really cool drone applications. But it's like, I think, I think it's really cool to see technology really helping industry like that. 


[00:31:29] Michelle T: I think mine we're way smaller scale than Chad, so I, I'll I'll say two things. Um, one was, Being back with people at a conference post Covid and like, it was just such a lovely reunion of, of the industry and, and I think after living through the last couple years, like it's just made me appreciate the things that we come together to do and to be able to come together. That was really lovely. And then I think the second, and it's such a small thing, but I think it speaks back to the, um, you know, tech for, for good or for purpose. One thing I loved was flying in. I was, and out, I was on one of the Delta flights right before they did the announcement of like free wifi on flights and that just made me really happy, and it's something like so small, but just being able to get stuff done on the plane efficiently I thought was wonderful. 


[00:32:26] Jennifer Sain (Host): That’s the solving for practical, for practical solutions, right? I mean, practical solutions. Yeah. Brian, do you have anything to add? Anything that you saw in the press that was just kind of fun or fringe or an outlier? 


[00:32:41] Brian H: fun and interesting stuff. I mean, you know, we, we talked a lot about TVs, which has, you know, traditionally been kinda a thing. It's a yes. But, um, and I, I, um, I actually learned this from Chad that they didn't, that Sony didn't actually have any TVs there, but they did have a car. Um, and so that got me thinking about, you know, knowing that, you know, radio usage since the pandemic has really tapered off, like what does the future entertainment experience in a car look like with companies like Sony, you know, in the mix? So, uh, it's pretty interesting to think about and, um, you know, throwing the, um, you know, the autonomous driving vehicle possibility and it gets, it gets pretty, uh, pretty interesting. 


[00:33:20] Jennifer Sain (Host): Chad, did you wanna say something? 


[00:33:21] Chad S: I was just gonna, you know, there was something that was also kinda an interesting takeaway just thinking about like, kinda like as more of a, going back to that theme of, um, You know, the short term versus the long term was that on the automotive space, there was less of a narrative around autonomous vehicles and much more arounds, and also about you problem solving against problems, problems, vehicles. I'm trying to remember the name of the. Company there, there was a Vietnamese automotive company that was there that was also offering up, um, almost like an AppleCare like product offering for their cars, where it was, not only do you lease the vehicle, but if you pay a little bit more, you can have a constant warranty on your battery. So the idea that if your battery failed early, you know, you were always covered on that. So it was, it was interesting just to see like more announcements about electric vehicles than some of like you, know the further looking out five to ten years, I think maybe the industry might have given up on the government a little bit in terms of opening up road and that way, or  maybe we just don’t trust other human beings, but I do think the electric vehicle announcements were really cool. I think it was Mercedes that also announced the’re investing some millions into recharging stations as well across the world. Uh, I know they're gonna start in like Nevada and California and stuff, so that's pretty cool.  


[00:34:47] Jennifer Sain (Host): All right. So kind of as we wrap up our time together, I would love to kind of have you all look into your crystal balls for the future. Um, you know, we've alluded, I mean, Chad, you spoke a lot to the challenges, um, and, you know, potentially, you know, shifts that CS needs to make and even questioning again, it's place. Um, and I know Brian, you had said, you know, you were talking a little bit about sustainability and the accessibility being really important to consumers. And I would say that's even more so for younger consumers and even the generation entering into, you know, their, their spending years. Um, so with all that in mind, what do you think we'll see, or even what would you like to see, um, in the short term and if you like, in the long term? 


[00:35:35] Michelle T: I think for me it'll be continued progress on diversity, on all facets of that, um, inclusion and accessibility. That's what I would hope to see next year. Just further progress. And then I think in the long term, you know, as we talk about all of these ecosystems being built essentially within your lives, be it your, your health apps, your whatever, the convergence somehow of all those things to, to create unique operating systems for each person, that's designed for each person is something that I don't think we're that far from, but would sure as hell make life a lot easier every day. 


[00:36:20] Jennifer Sain (Host): Yeah I’m in. Chad and Brian, anything, anything that you can see peering into the future or that you'd like to see? 


[00:36:25] Chad S: I'd like to see more devices and more things just learning from, from our behavior versus putting the onus on training devices and training systems on people, just because I feel like that's where a lot of things get held back. And I don't necessarily believe in a world where AI just takes over and makes it and makes assumptions for us, but I do think that there is a really nice, passive, gentle, uh, almost like conversational way where devices can start adapting to your behavior in a trust, in a trustworthy way. And I think like, you know, probably one of the best examples of things like that are like Nest thermostats for years have been poking you and basically saying, hey, we've raised the temperature, we've lowered the temperature. Is this working for you? Is this not working for you? And then at the end of the day, I dunno if there's anybody who's really having trust issues with thermostat, right? Because it's trying to do things for you, trying to make things more comfortable for, you're trying to save money for you and doing things like that. And I feel like if, you know, we're starting to see other types of services like, I'll compare that to like YouTube tv where if you log into YouTube TV and it's, the YouTube TV has completely changed what a television interface looks like to you. It's more based on kinda your viewing habits and actually make something better for you. So what I'm just trying to suggest is like how can technology in a much more suggestive way and collaborative way, make things better for you versus making decisions for you or forcing people to train. 


[00:37:53] Jennifer Sain (Host): kind of a follow up question to that, Chad. So do you then, would you think that concerns around data privacy might lessen in the future given the, the benefit or the ubiquity of these devices? Like you said, if it's personalized, would there be less of a concern?  


[00:38:12] Chad S: Um, I don't know. I mean, I, I, I, I always like to pick apart the data privacy issues. Cause what I think is amazing is that you'll have somebody talk about data privacy, bang, bang, bang, data privacy, data privacy, and it's like free coupon. Like, oh, I'll give you anything you want. And it's, you do those experiments and. You know, you'll see where people will give up in order to get something for free. So I often really wonder, it's like when we take the whole data privacy conversation, if we really start picking it apart, what are, what are people's, what are people's issues? I think that people feel that giving away their data in what feels like a one-way relationship is not fair. I think when people start to see value of their data and seeing how something makes something better, they're willing to use their data as a currency. But they also have to trust that particular company. And I, and I feel like people are getting better about that. I think people are choosing, I think sometimes people are making choices based on a company that will their data private, I mean, sees apples out there basically defending itself against Google every day. So, um, you know, I think that consumers are aware that their data is valuable, but I do think it's worth a deeper question as, what do people think is really happening with their data and at what point does their data become valuable? What data do they assume is OK to give away? And what do people need to keep private? 


[00:39:31] Jennifer Sain (Host): Um, I know this was, we were kind of wrapping up, but actually Michelle or Brian, do you have anything to add to that, the data privacy conversation? 


[00:39:38] Brian H: Yeah I do actually. And, and, and, uh, you know, I, I promise we didn't talk about this ahead of time, but Chad set me up perfectly is that I, I, what I would like to see is because all these different devices and connections enable us to have a lot more data about ourselves. I'd like to see people feel more empowered by that. You know, having that data, having that information, and go into situations like the doctor's office, for example, or otherwise, and be like, hey, look, you know, um, I have all this information from my devices and I think that this is what's going on, and I'm, you know, I'm coming to you for your opinion. And just feel really, you know, sort of in the know and empowered to use that data for their benefit.  


[00:40:18] Jennifer Sain (Host): Yeah. That actually goes back to what you were talking about right at the beginning, Michelle, about the, you know, the, uh, health devices that you saw. And again, that it's, it's less of a, maybe coming from an invasive perspective and more from an empowerment. And I think that's really, I think that's a really important takeaway. Um, okay, so let's wrap up, I promise. Brian, you're the last one to, to take us into the future. What, what do you, what do you think we'll see, or what would you like to.  

[00:40:45] Brian H: Well, I mean, I'd like to see, um, I think I, I'll go a little bit longer term. You know, we talked a little bit about how the metaverse is, um, kind of happening in, in little, little pieces, drips and drabs there. But, you know, I think it would be really cool to see sort of. You know, a style of metaverse as Neil Stevenson, you know, conceived it. Uh, I'm a big Neil Stevenson and sci-fi nerd fan and a sci-fi nerd in general. But, um, yeah, just like the, you know, the, the interesting promise of, uh, of, uh, a virtual world and all that possibility that that brings for people of all different, you know, backgrounds and abilities.  


[00:41:23] Jennifer Sain (Host): I love it. And I would actually say Rolling Stone did not know what they were talking about. There was, there were lots of new tricks, just perhaps not the ones we were expecting.Um, alright, well thank you all so much. This was absolutely fantastic. Um, for all of our listeners, um, please do you subscribe to our podcast if you haven't in all of the usual places. And of course, this podcast as well as thought leadership from around the Interpublic network is always available on Thanks so much.  


[00:41:51] Outro: Thank you for listening to the Collective Intelligence Podcast. For more marketing insights and ideas, please subscribe to this podcast or visit