Collective Intelligence: Marketing Insights & Ideas to Help Brands Thrive

CI Conversations: CES 2022

January 20, 2022 Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG) Season 1 Episode 6
Collective Intelligence: Marketing Insights & Ideas to Help Brands Thrive
CI Conversations: CES 2022
Show Notes Transcript

 There were lessons to be learned from the experience of CES itself this year. After being virtual in 2021, hopes were high that it would return to a fully in-person event. That was not to be and once again, participants and attendees had to pivot to a hybrid conference. It is reasonable to expect that will be the case for the show and other industry and consumer experiences as COVID concerns persist, along with ESG considerations. This is indicative of the overall consumer experience today. Lives have become “phygital,” where the lines between the physical and digital are blurred. These innovations presented at CES addressed this new normal in areas from health and wellness to automotive and transportation.

 

Adam Simon from IPG Media Lab and Chris Denson from MullenLowe discuss how COVID accelerated consumer digital adoption and what that means for in-home devices in the areas of health, safety, retail and entertainment. Are consumers’ concerns about their data going to be an issue for marketers, or can those concerns be allayed by getting something of value in exchange for their data?

 

Listen as the conversation ranges from television to cars to the metaverse, and where the opportunities might be for brands.


Intro: [00:00:01]
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 intelligence.interpublic.com. Listen, then log on to find new opportunities for your brand to stand out. 

 

Jen [00:00:22] 
Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us on the Collective Intelligence podcast for another episode of CI Conversations. I'm Jennifer Sain and I head up digital services for Collective Intelligence and will be doing my very best to fill in for our regular host, Paul Parton, who will be back with us next time. I am so thrilled to be talking with Chris Densen, SVP, U.S. Director of Innovation and Brand Strategy at MullenLowe and Adam Simon, SVP, Executive Director, Strategy, IPG Lab. Thank you both Chris and Adam for joining us today. OK, so let's kick things off by talking about the actual CES experience this year. After being entirely virtual last year, there was hope that it would be fully in-person, but that was not to be. Chris, you were there physically. What was it like? 

 

Chris [00:01:13] 
What was it like to risk my life? That was great. Actually, not the risk part, but the actual attending. You know, you're looking at an event that usually has about a hundred and eighty thousand people on the ground and kind of whittled down to forty-five thousand, which felt like five thousand, yeah, as you're walking around the show floor. And so, you know, it was one thing to have almost like an electric field just being on the ground, seeing things in real life, being able to touch things. Tried demos, have conversations where, you know, normally…or at least the new normally. We've been a little bit more removed, you know, kind of whatever we can catch on the internet is going to be the totality of the experience that we have. I was also just surprised at like what got picked up online versus what was happening on the ground at CES is great. 

 

Jen [00:02:02] 
Thank you. Adam, you attended virtually. What was your experience? 

 

Adam [00:02:07] 
Yeah, I mean, I think it was an interesting event because unlike last year where everything had sort of been plans to be virtual from the beginning, you know, obviously in the weeks at the very end of the year and immediately leading up to CES, a lot of companies started pulling out and a lot of things pivoted very quickly. So some things were still 100 percent exactly as you would expect them to be. Where, you know, we're watching the Samsung press conference or their announcements, their keynote, that's pretty much the same as you would get if you were actually there in person. I think the thing that is missing and especially this year because they didn't really have the online platform set up for this from the beginning, was really the discoverability of all of those fun, weird, super interesting things that you might not know the company they're coming from. But when you're just walking around the show floor or even last year in the sort of the digital show floor that they had set up, that you can sort of discover those things, that discoverability was really what was lacking this year. Everything else was, was pretty much pretty much okay. 

 

Jen [00:03:06] 
continuing in that vein for a bit. The way the world has changed so dramatically over the past few years has not just been because of COVID, but also because of concerns for sustainability and environmental concerns. And companies have kind of committed to ESG initiatives to address these concerns, so it's likely that the world of these conferences is going to change in the future. I mean, I hear from both of you that there is still utility for being there in person. Do you think that's enough to keep conferences like this going in general? Do you think they will they will exist? Will they continue to be hybrid? And, you know, taking that one step further, you know, what does that mean for experiential marketers who were kind of up against the same concerns? 

 

Chris [00:03:48] 
I think for, you know, for a lot of us who it depends on how curious you are as an attendee. You know, I think some of us have been used to watching from afar or not attending and getting the report back from individuals and teams that we work with. But I think also the conferences themselves are trying to figure out better ways to incentivize people to be there on the ground, right? That's where they make the majority of their money. What kind of special moments can we create? And conversely, if you know you want a company to sponsor, like Adam mentioned, Microsoft pulled out at the at the 11th hour, as did a few other large, large players. What is the incentive to keep them there, you know, even if it's a virtual experience? By comparison, there was a really great example from South by Southwest last year where HBO created this whole puzzle experience that was a big community game. So if you had a virtual ticket, you could actually participate in this game and there was a big prize that everybody got to participate in rather than, you know, which session am I going to tune in to now in livestream? Or in addition to that, I think we'll see the bar raised creatively, both for in-person and online experiences just to drive attendance at its baseline. 

 

Jen [00:04:59] 
So they're not going away, but they will evolve. 

 

Adam [00:05:01] 
Yeah, yeah, I agree, I think that just going forward, I think almost everything will be hybrid from the jump and we will get better at figuring out how to create those experiences. Hybrid right now is great for things like watching a keynote, maybe even, and participating in breakout rooms and things like that. It's not so great with the serendipity of either discovering products and companies like we do at CES or just, you know, meeting other people and networking. That stuff has not been a great transition online, although I think we will get there. It's just that folks have not been… the event producers have not been super incentivized to really figure that out. But I think we will see a new wave of events that will figure some of that stuff out a little bit better than it has been thus far. And to your point around sustainability, this isn't just about whether it's safe to be in Las Vegas, for example. It's also about business travel sort of being reduced for other reasons. And also just expanding your audience, right? Like when things are, when there is a virtual option, your audience is going to be 10 or hundreds of times bigger than it potentially could be otherwise. So I think it's, we’re in the very early stages of rethinking how all of these things are going to evolve over the next decade, I would say. And I think somebody will come along and innovate and show us, give us sort of a new template for what a truly hybrid from the beginning event can start to look like. 

 

Chris [00:06:24] 
Adam touched on this idea of magic that I think happens when you when you're there. I mean, literally. I walked into the convention center first day, day one within five minutes. I was at the U.S. Postal Service's booth. Had no idea that they even exhibit there, nor did I know that they were launching a line of electric vehicles. And so by the end of 2023, their fleet should be like a large majority electric vehicle. I didn't read that anywhere. No one mentioned it to me, and I ended up in a forty-five-minute conversation with the vice president of marketing about just like, really cool, exploratory creative opportunities that could happen within our agency families or just out in the world in general. And that's hard to replicate in a virtual experience is not impossible, but I think is and that was, like I say, one out of three of those sorts of moments. 

 

Jen [00:07:16] 
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that definitely speaks to kind of having a hybrid experience. And I think what Adam also alluded to is having it done with forethought and that it's not just a reaction to it being changed at, you know, the 11th hour, but rather planning for that being the new normal and the way that these things are run. And certainly, I think that speaks to our lives in general over the last couple of years, you know, we had been talking for a while before then about the ‘phygital’ world, you know, our, the combination of our physical and digital existence. But you know, certainly that was accelerated by COVID, where not only are we working from home and using platforms like Zoom, but also our, you know, the need for new and innovative ways to experience entertainment, ways to look at and track our health, our safety, things like that are, you know, the that line between, you know, physical and digital is being blurred. And you know, I imagine there were and I'd love to hear from you both on what was really innovative in those areas of health, safety, entertainment in the home. You know, what were there any disruptors and then to take that further? What does that mean in terms of consumer privacy? Are, are consumers concerned about their privacy? Is that something that companies and brands and marketers should be aware of or, and if there is…how is that being addressed? Adam, would you like to start off with that? 

 

Adam [00:08:40] 
Sure. Yeah, I mean, I think we've been talking about this. Everybody's been talking about this for a long time. What COVID did, especially in the early days, was just pull forward a lot of behaviors and a lot of adoption that was going to happen anyway. It just really accelerated all of that. And things have opened back up again. Things have reverted a little bit, but not to the levels that they were. And I think a great example is looking at telemedicine, where we had a lot of people use telemedicine for the first time during COVID because they had maybe had a COVID related question. Or maybe it was just a totally unrelated health question, and they didn't feel comfortable going into a doctor's office. So they figured out, they did the work to figure out, OK, what platform do I have access to? What is my insurance going to cover? How does this work? And they did that, and once they've done that, they know that's an option and they feel more comfortable with it, and they're going to keep that as an option in their back pocket. That doesn't mean they're never going into a doctor's office again, but it does mean that they now have another tool in their tool belt for how to solve health issues. And I think we saw that across the board that there was a lot of people, there were a lot of people who were trying digital first experiences in categories that they never would have thought about. Grocery shopping is another great example, and again, that doesn't mean everybody's going to continue to buy all of their groceries online, but they now know that's an option and maybe if they're having a big dinner party and don't have time to go to the store, it's something that they can do on their lunch break and place that Instacart order and feel comfortable that that's going to show up and, you know, just feel comfortable with the experience. So I think that that is that acceleration is really the thing that we're going to hold on to coming out of COVID and, looking into the future. And I think that what's really happened is that the home has become a services hub for a variety of industries, including health, including retail, obviously for food and grocery as well. And I think we're just starting to see the beginnings of companies start to think through how do we move what we maybe used to do on our website or mobile app or maybe used to do in a brick and mortar location? How do we move more of that into the home as sort of a starting place for the consumer journey? 

 

Chris [00:10:51] 
Yeah, and I can second a lot of that, you know, look, we're almost in this phase of forced evolution because we've been at home and a lot of these technologies have existed. I think Adam brings up a great example with telehealth, and there's a number of services that we're getting used to doing more and more on our own on the show floor. I will say from my perspective, the wellness and health area was probably the most active. You had everything from…I actually did an exercise which was I was almost ashamed. I did a mirror demo magic mirror camera mounted on it. I did a few exercises for about three minutes, directed by what was on the screen. And at the end of it, there was just sort of like a musculoskeletal version of me on the screen and said, “These are your problem areas. This is where your muscles are weak.” And not only that, it took me to a Q… I had… there was a QR code that popped up and I got to scan that and it had exercises recommended for me, specifically based on my height, weight and my musculoskeletal build up. You couple that with things like at-home urine sampling and testing, or even like semen and sperm count. Like there's, there's all sorts of things that we might have felt like were taboo and there's like a giant booth around it. And I will even say, like the longest line I saw was a sex tech booth, and they had a lot of products and they were doing a giveaway every day and there was a line like almost from where their booth was to out the door. So, you know, this idea of things that we once thought were likely maybe a little close to the vest or online isn't safe for me or whatever reasons that were barriers, we got forced to do those things, because we needed whatever the result was, whether that's seeing a doctor. Withings, with another great example, you know, French company and they make all sorts of smartwatches and scales. They had a scale where you would pull up a bar and it would actually do BMI measurements, not just on your general body, you know your body mass index, but from one part of your body to another. If you're, you know, fatter in your shoulders and your, and your upper body, or if it's stored in your thighs, whatever it might be, it just it gives you a lot more accurate readout and they communicate with your doctor to a degree. There's no diagnosis that happened from any of these things. I think one of the watches was equipped with forgive my medical ignorance, but like an EKG where it can give you some information. Not all, but you know, but your doctor can have access to that. And these are things that we've been talking about. We've seen happen in drips and drabs, but now, because we are at home and health is probably priority number one, even more so than your job, you know, if you couple it with the great resignation, if I'm going to quit my job, I better be healthy. So it was interesting to see, like a lot of the things that we have been hearing whispers of begin to come to life. 

 

Jen [00:13:42] 
Kind of along that line. Do you think that's wishful thinking on the on the perspective of the companies? Or do you think that consumer adoption will be in line with these innovations? You know, you're talking about intimate things, you know, you know, not just sexual health, but of course, you know, your, that data of your, you know, your personal health. All those things that you just mentioned is being aggregated in a way that seems even more accelerated than the data aggregation that consumers are already concerned about, coupled with the devices themselves. You know, you hear these things, you know, is, is my device listening? So these television sets that are becoming hubs of the home and these, you know, smart mirrors for health, you know, are… are consumers worried about that or, or are they not? Do you guys have an impression about that? 

 

Chris [00:14:26] 
I think, you know, there's perception and there's reality when you hear about like, oh, delete Facebook. I can't think of a single person who has deleted their Facebook account because of… name the reason. And I think, you know, we've gotten used to exchanging our data for value, right? Is the experience that I'm going into going to be valuable to me? Like Wardle, is the new game craze, and it's very low bar of entry, right? But if I had to fill out a form or something, I probably wouldn't do it. So, you know, I think of, what's the value on the other side of this trend? And I think we kind of overindex on assuming consumers are going to be a little bit more hesitant in giving up data for that service. And it could be either psychography or demography, depending on. Like I have a 16-year-old daughter and, you know, she had COVID and the CDC called her, some office, called her phone and I’m like, who are you talking to and why are you telling all that information? And yes, there's age, but there's also just the behavior and used to just like, oh, there's a statistic around the number of millions of hours of privacy policies that go unread, right? You just click the box. Take me to the thing. So say it takes you five minutes to actually read through it, like there are millions and millions of minutes of unread privacy policies that… just take me to the thing that I need. And now those needs are shifting in terms of how we access them. You have to access it from home for the good majority of the things you want to get. So that's I mean, that's my, my take on sort of the exchange. 

 

Jen [00:15:58] 
Chris, you said that you know, you have a 16-year-old daughter. Do you think it's a generational difference or do you think it's fair to say that that's pretty much across the board? 

 

Chris [00:16:05] 
I mean, I think that's for I don't know, it's called the last 15 years has been sort of the anecdotal thing. We hear a lot of people say, “Oh, my three-year-old picked up the tablet and figured it out.” You know, you're still trying to like, how do you remove storage from or create more storage space? So, you know, I think certain things are a little bit more native to certain generations. And so you know where my mom is like, “Wait, what am I signing up for? Why am I doing this? How do I get into it?” And you know, I'm probably stuck somewhere in the middle as a, you know, as a, as a Gen-Xer, I'm like, “I like the old stuff like, not like, don't I don't want give you too much my information, but this is also super cool.” So I do think as each generation advances, there are certain things you just like comes as standard package operating system for the times. 

 

Adam [00:16:54] 
Yeah, I definitely feel similarly about that. I feel like your daughter, for example, is probably really great at managing the privacy of her posts and messages on social media. And because she, that's super important to her, as it probably most teenagers. And whereas, you know, probably older folks might be a little less savvy about that. But I think in general, it is. I definitely agree. It's, it's a… people are comfortable giving you their information as long as they know what they're getting back for it. And I think the thing that a lot of a lot of these digital health and telemedicine services and devices and platforms do is they overindex on communicating what is happening with that data. The vast majority of them are not using that for, for ad targeting purposes, for example. And I think that they're, they're going over the top to communicate that to consumers, and I feel like that is what makes consumers comfortable with using them. I think it gets a little it starts to break down when you're talking a little bit more about things like entertainment and media and just sort of tracking what you're viewing online, that gets a little a little hazier. But I think there is a little bit of a generational difference in that a lot of the young people that I talk to, they just assume that they're being tracked constantly and if you start with that mindset. It's hard to be upset. It's hard to go or to cross a line and to, to provoke them. 

 

Chris [00:18:14] 
I guess one solid example of that is the sexual health company that was there. There were four, but there was one that was the most active. And one of the biggest hurdles they have is really getting people to download their app. There's an app that almost is like a meditation app or any other you know, you're closing the rings on your Apple Watch; it’s just like it monitors your sexual health. And so there is like a like a cultural hurdle to get over in certain things. You also have to look at the subject matter, you know, the kind of emotional privacy connection and maybe not so much the data connection, privacy. And I think that's one thing to take into consideration as well. 

 

Jen [00:18:53] 
Kind of taking this into a different area. We've talked very much about the, our internal lives, both in terms of our, our homes and our health. And, you know, all things kind of close to us. But taking it outside because there is still an external world, I'd love to talk about the automotive and transportation innovations that were present at CES. And Chris, you alluded to this earlier when you were talking about the U.S. Postal Service fleet, that you didn't even know that they had a presence there at the at the conference. I heard things about Tesla unveiling some public transportation plans. So I was just wondering in the area of automotive and transportation, what you observed. Are the EV wars still, still raging on? And, and also in terms of AI, I’ve heard a lot about that. Is that in fact true, going to propel the automotive and transportation industries forward. So Chris, why don't you go ahead? 

 

Chris [00:19:47] 
Yeah, I'll start. You know, my, my favorite moment of CES was when I was trying to get from one hall to the other, and I stopped and asked one of the informationists like, what's the best way for me to get there? He’s like, “Do you want to get there fast or do you want to take the scenic route?” And I go, ”Fast.” He’s like, “Go outside, make a right. Hop into one of the Teslas that we have, that are transportation,” so get in there. I didn't know it was going to go underground into a tunnel that Tesla has spent the last year and a half building. And so there's this Tesla-owned tunnel that connects one part of the convention center to the other. And I started asking questions, of course, and they're like, they also got the green light to build twenty-nine more miles throughout Las Vegas. So you've got these, and it's not like a giant tunnel. It's like barely fit the car. It was, and it was very sleek, very stylized and designed like you would expect from a Tesla. And so, you know, you start to think about all the plans you've heard from the minute you heard the name Tesla as a brand starting to come to life. But then you see other players like, you know, Sony introducing two electric vehicles, which is a brand that you do not associate it with automotive in any capacity. Maybe like in the old days of like car stereos where you pop ‘em in and pop ‘em out. But now you know, they've got their vehicles.  And you've got companies like Blink, for instance, who they're sort of reimagining at-home electric vehicle charging. So, you know, you know, electricity ain't free. Much as we talk about, like, sustainability and everything, it comes from somewhere and it comes from a resource. So, you know, there is thought around like, how do we make this more convenient for the consumers and a little bit more adaptable? You know, if you live in an apartment building, where are you going to charge, where do you charge your vehicle? You know, how do we make this a little bit more accessible for individuals? And the AI question, I'm not as well versed in, but I was in San Francisco a few days ago, and you still see the Waymos and the Lyfts and the, you know, the Ubers of the world testing out and teaching the vehicles artificial intelligence. But they've also been doing that for eight years. So it's like when will regulations change? There's so many other factors that go into, like how AI becomes a very dominant part of the driving experience. And with that, I’ll shut up because I could keep going on like that. 

 

Adam [00:21:58] 
But yeah, I mean, I think that the AI question is super interesting. We just saw earlier this week Tesla being sued for the results of one of their vehicles while it was in autonomous mode having a collision, and they're actually suing Tesla as opposed to the person who was behind the wheel. That is going to be super interesting to watch, just to see how that plays out, because I think that's one of the unanswered questions is like the liability in an autonomous future, like who is ultimately responsible. There might be some culpability for the person behind the wheel since that person could have taken control. But also at the end of the day, isn't that what the algorithm is for at the end of the day? So I think that, that we're getting there slowly in terms of like there's a lot of even there's a lot of A and technology questions around getting to full autonomy. But there's also a lot of just like cultural and societal level questions that we haven't entirely answered yet. So we're not even really ready for it, even if the technology was ready to go. I think that, you know, to answer your question about, you know, the EV wars several years ago. It seems everybody, all everybody was ever talking about was autonomy and self-driving. Now, over the past few years, I feel like it's really moved to mostly towards EVs as lots of other manufacturers have moved into shipping or are getting close to shipping their own EV models. And I think that they're, they're still going through, I think, a lot of production issues, but as, as is lots of industries right now. But I think that, you know, a year from now, hopefully a lot of that will be ironed out and we'll have a lot of new EV is on the market. And I think that, you know, that competition is really healthy and interesting and exciting to watch. At the same time, they are putting in place a lot of the sort of internal cockpits, redesigns that will eventually be useful and, and exciting when we do get to autonomy. So you can kind of see them moving both forward at the same time, knowing that EVs in the short term are the more important piece of the puzzle, but also putting in place larger screens and displays and, and AR displays on the windshield for the eventual point where we can maybe not have to totally redesign these vehicles because we can update them with software to start to be more and more autonomous vehicles. 

 

Chris [00:24:16] 
The last thing I want to add on that is also, you know, and especially in our worlds, right? We can't ignore the idea of brand. You know, Tesla means and feels like something to people, as does Sony. What sorts of experiences are these electric vehicle brands creating, whether it's in the vehicle or in culture, that kind of creates a little bit more stickiness. You know, when I get ready to choose my, you know what? I'm going to go Honda or Tesla or Fisker or whatever it might be like, what do I know about this brand? What have I experienced about it? What additional benefits can I have as a consumer even goes back to your data question earlier? You know, what am I going to give up to have a better commuting experience? And that's important to take into consideration as well. 

 

Jen [00:24:56] 
OK, great. Well. Kind of as we're getting toward the end of our time together, I would be remiss if I hosted a podcast about CES and technology and didn't talk about the Metaverse, as we're all learning about this now, and you know, it seems to be reaching critical mass. What did you hear about Metaverse at CES? I've heard some stuff about smart cities and things in that vein. What can you tell us about that? Adam, do you want to take this one to start? 

 

Adam [00:25:21] 
Sure. Yeah. I mean, I think on one hand, we saw a lot of people at CES using the term metaverse that did not seem to even know what the term meant. And that's fair. There's a lot of different definitions, competing definitions floating around. But it was definitely, I would say, the term that was abused in terms of marketing and trying to get attention for things at CESthat maybe had nothing to do with the Metaverse whatsoever. I think your point about smart cities to me is is maybe where some of the most foundational stuff that's actually going to ship that might actually be building blocks towards a future metaverse that we saw because we are starting to see and this goes back to some of our pandemic era stuff that we were talking about earlier. We're starting to see a lot of interesting interfaces to move the interfaces of public computing devices or just public devices like elevators, vending machines. I think of things like the vending machines in the New York City subway, things like that move the interface off of that device and onto our personal devices. There's obvious COVID benefits there that you're not touching a shared device. But I also see that as like a step towards blurring the physical and the digital a bit. And you can imagine how that will start to become useful when we have the ability to have AR glasses walking around the city that we might prefer to use a software interface for those things rather than the hardware interface. And there's obviously a lot of the same benefits we got from the smartphone of being able to change and update those interfaces over time that you would get from installing that into public infrastructure that we know is challenging to update on a regular basis. And then moving some of that to software might give us a lot of interesting benefits in the future. 

 

Chris [00:27:02] 
Yeah, I'm a firm believer that in a lot of cases, you know, novelty kind of builds a populace of users on a particular platform or technology. And so, you know what a prime example of that prior to this is Fortnite and Travis Scott's concert. Those experiences are getting better. As we were looking at, OK, what do we predict the top trends will be coming out of CES. One of them, we gave the title multi-sensory metaverse, where they have things like haptic vests. Or you may have a chair that you can sit in that, you know, maybe it gives you a vibrational experience while you're attending the concert or you're playing a game and you feel an impact like you're going to feel it in this haptic vest that that allows you to to do that. You know, you see better facial recognition kinds of cameras that are either consumer grade or to Adam's point, just like they might be out in the city and can track emotional states of people that walk into a walk into an arena of sorts. And those cameras can like, Are you nervous? Are you happy? Are you X, Y and Z? And so having this thing where it's a little bit more reactionary and it goes back to the beginning of our conversation, where there are a lot of technology that, like the haptic vests, are not new. But now that there's an experience that could be a little bit more apt to using those seems a little bit more viable. But you're absolutely right. Any time, like a new term pops up, it gets misused and abused. You’re like, well, this isn’t the metaverse at all. This is barely a verse. So that's, that's a watch out and like looking at where the dust actually settles and what are going to be the winning experiences. And the last thing I'll say, which we didn't have a chance to talk about was just like how televisions are changing. And, you know, TVs and phones were kind of like the bread and butter of CES for a very long time. And after a while, you're like, OK, I get it; it's just a better picture quality. But now you've got like cloud computing, you've got NFT displays, you've got, you know, a new broadcast standard that takes into, you know, account, Web 3.0 and you've got all these other things that can kind of bring the metaverse to life in different ways, as well as these other things that we've been talking about. 

 

Adam [00:29:10] 
Yeah, I would say the other side of it that we saw some, some interesting things in was the creator side of it, because that's the other half that we have to solve for is how do we make the tools to create these more immersive experiences more accessible to more people? There was a Skydio drone that is an $1100 consumer grade drone. You can point it at your house, for example, and it can fly around your house and generate a 3D model of the outside of your house for you. And it can do all of that without you needing to know anything about how to do it. And I think that that's with the fact that that's getting into those… obviously, it's not, you know, $1100 is isn't free, but consumer grade products is starting to get really interesting when we start to think about all of the work that's going to be need to be done to create 3D assets for the Metaverse. The fact that it's becoming that accessible is really interesting. 

 

Jen [00:29:59] 
You know, just a follow up question to that then. So marketers that kind of want to be early adopters in the Metaversial world. What would you say? What would be your advice on where to start on kind of where to focus or anything to tell someone who wants to get their toe in ahead of time? 

 

Adam [00:30:16] 
I think that the way that I think about it is there's two main vectors that are sort of converging. One is coming from the gaming side of things, and that can be things like live events like the Fortnite concerts, or it can be immersive experiences like in in VR. And on the other side, it's the web 3D side of things with NFTs and tokenization, tokenized access to events and media. There's a lot of ways it is going to vary dramatically based on the category that you're talking about it and sort of appetite for innovation and risk, I think. Yeah, I’d say, depending on the category you're coming from, it's either think about coming from the gaming side of things or the web 3 side of things. 

 

Chris [00:30:58] 
Yeah. And I think about three principles that kind of keep in mind sometimes is either collaborate, mimic or acquire. You don't have to build your own metaverse. There are enough that are like being tested and tried that you can kind of like latch on to, to almost like AB tests like, OK, this we did have a great experience with Fortnite or with the, you know, insert metaverse experience here, and then begin to build out. It's the same thing if you look at when any other technology has been introduced, whether it's social media or virtual reality or even smartphones. You know, there's like a dip your toe in the water to see what it's like. And I always advise clients just to have like an experimental budget, and budget of time, budget of money, budget of just resource or exploration. Just like, all right, let's before we spend a million dollars on this. How about we spend fifty thousand and see what happens? Right? So I think there's enough folks out there that are beginning to do it right, that you can find collaborators in that space and learn from them and learn from the experience and see what's going to happen. You know, it's, it's early enough that it should feel like a little bit like Magellan, right? So let's just go see what's out there. I don't know how well I did in history class, so maybe that was the wrong person. But Magellan felt right. No, I think there's that sort of idea of let's figure out a way to just test and learn. 

 

Jen [00:32:17] 
Great. Well, I think we're just going about wrap up. But before we do, is there anything you know in terms of the wow factor or just what was cool? Well, is there anything that you were just kind of blown away by in terms of just again, its coolness or its ability to disrupt the market? Anything that you've been dying to talk about that we haven't gotten to before we head out. 

 

Adam [00:32:38]
 I can tell you my favorite thing that we found from afar was a connected home device called Bird Buddy. That is a connected birdhouse that has a camera on it. And when a bird lands in the bird house or the bird feeder to, to eat the snacks you've left, it takes a photo of the bird, runs it through their machine learning to identify the species of bird and then sends you a little, sends you a text with like, Hey, this bird came by and it's this kind of bird. It's like kind of obvious that, but it's amazing that no one's ever built that. And it just it just seems so fun. We, like three people on our team have already ordered them. 

 

Chris [00:33:17]
 I'll stick with birds for 100, Alex. No, because Bird, actually, the scooter company, or the last mile company, had a pretty large presence and they've begun to introduce consumer facing products. So now they have things that you can purchase in target and Best Buy. And, you know, as part of their IPO that came out last year and like, what are they going to do with that money? And everything else is starting to introduce more consumer products and new fleets of last mile vehicles. And that was just one of one of the other trends that we spotted is how a lot of brands are beginning to diversify their product lines and do unexpected moves. One of my favorite examples of that was Nautica- walked into the Nautica booth, where we all know just from like, oh, we see at Macy's and you make a lot of brightly colored clothing. They had Bluetooth speakers, drones, connected tumblers, connected skin care, had all these things that you would just not expect from a, you know, from a what we think is a manufacturer of clothing. And I think part of that is kind of rooted in the stay at home world that we've kind of shifted into where like, how else can we create relevancy with our, with our brands in this new hybrid world? And I think that's going to be important to see, and I did not catch the bird feeder, but now I want one. 

 

Jen [00:34:33] 
Same. Well, we are just about out of time. Thank you so much, Chris and Adam for joining us today and thank you to all of our listeners. Paul will be back soon with a new episode, and we do encourage you to visit intelligence.interpublic.com for a look at our live coverage of CES, as well as a wealth of thought leadership on all the topics you care about. Bye for now. 

 

Outro [00:34:55]
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