Posts from date: January 2011
So, the Consumer Electronics show has been and gone again for another year, setting a host of records in the process. Held in Las Vegas every January its location is glamorous enough to attract the cream of the technology crop from around the world whilst being close enough to the valley to ensure the hottest start-ups are only a short hop away. And let’s face it, what better way to blow away those January blues than a three day trip to the ultimate grown ups’ playground on your company’s dollar?
This year saw 140,000 delegates passed through the doors of the Las Vegas Convention Centre with over 30,000 coming from abroad and there were a hefty 22 CEO’s participating in Key Note speeches. Add to this 2,700 tech companies and CES (now in its 44th year) has never been bigger.
The key themes that emerged were 3D (again), tablets, connected TV and 4G/LTE. I wrote about the need for all parties to continue their investment and development of 3D in a post last year and the industry’s appetite for it certainly hasn’t abated. HP’s 3D Envy laptop is quite a bit of kit and the screen technology aiming to serve up an immersive 3D experience without glasses is progressing rapidly. Toshiba are pretty far down the line.
In terms of tablets, well there where over 80 launched at the Show proving that once Apple open the door and show the industry where to go, the rest are never far behind. Samsung’s TX100 tablet with slide out keyboard looks particularly cool. It runs Windows 7; we like this because it shows Samsung are choosing their OS’s to fit the product, rather than a product to fit the OS.
We know connected, or ‘over the top’ TV has been gathering pace in the States for some time now and it definitely appears to be on the cusp of a significant break through as the major TV manufacturers, including LG and Panasonic, jump on board, as well the likes of Yahoo making a renewed push and even Cisco getting in on the act.
However LTE (the Long Term Evolution of 3G) which will in turn lead to proper 4G, is probably the most exciting technology of them all. Why? Because it’s the technology that is going to enable consistent use of properly smart applications on handsets and bring actual scale to smart phone marketing. It’s going to (hopefully) solve the data capacity issues that are currently strangling operators and in turn our ability to be genuinely ‘always connected’ on our hand held devices, regardless of where we are or what our data plans can offer. Granted role out will take some time but to give it some perspective there is currently a 4G network available to a handful of testers in Slough and its data capacity is higher than the entire UK 3G network. Roughly translated that means 4 seconds to download a song and 6 seconds to upload a photo. Verizon is already rolling out what it calls 4G LTE in major cities in the States.
So all of these technologies have serious implications from a media perspective, the immersive experience of 3D advertising, the targeting potential of connected TV and the increased data capacity of mobile networks…. All are set to make our jobs pretty exciting in the near future.
The film based on the creation of Facebook was one of the main winners at the Golden Globes at the weekend. The Social Network won Best Film Drama, Best Director (David Fincher), Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin) and Best Original Score, indicating that it is likely to be a winner at next month’s Oscars ceremony.
The beginning of the year is typically the season for film hype and buzz of potential Oscar winners and to some it may come as a surprise that a film about the social networking phenomenon that we all know and love, Facebook, has become so critically acclaimed. Personally, I have not seen the film, so cannot comment on how good it is, but it is telling of our times, that a film based on social media is now making the media headlines. This news is likely to be tweeted, re-tweeted, watched on Youtube and possibly even written about on Facebook, which exemplifies the power of the social media platform.
How long is it before we see films based on Apple and films streamed live on Youtube where people can comment and affect the ending of the film they are watching? The media landscape is constantly changing and developing, which has meant that media innovation and the way people use and review social media are becoming stories themselves. The key to a successful film is an engaging story and The Social Network has proved that there is more to Facebook than a site which allows you to connect and comment on your friend’s lives.
So recently I saw an article discussing the most annoying adverts on TV in 2010. Top of the list? … Go Compare with the opera singer. We all recognise him...his kinked moustache, his voice, his tux. However, it seems it is not the first time that the Ad was awarded most annoying as this was also the case in 2009. Thanks to its irritating strategy it has definitely increased brand awareness. I know that when I go to compare prices, Go Compare will at least be one of my top 3 choices.
Some may not agree, but for me one Ad that I can still watch over and over again is comparethemarket.com. I don’t know if it is the cuteness of the meerkats or just the fact that it was a pure genius idea, but it is one Ad I’m still not sick of, in-fact I think it is one of my favourites!
Other Ads that topped the irritating list include: Webuyanycar.com, injurylawyers4u.com and Halifax. Interestingly, 7 of these top 20 were Ads which targeted people struggling during the recession. Maybe as the economy recovers we’ll see these Ads begin to disappear?
Whilst catching up on TV during the festive break I couldn’t help but notice that there was a renaissance in American adverts being used on TV. Some of the creatives are easily transferable whilst others can leave you feeling quite cold so here’s a quick review of the one’s which I personally saw.
Instantly transferable, George Clooney selling coffee, how could this fail. After a quick straw poll with the girls in the office this was definitely a winner in any language.
M&M’s with an American accent isn’t as engaging and I’m sure everyone would prefer a Gorilla playing the drums….
I understand the need for advertising to be aspirational but I’m not sure if teenagers would identify with this. Would dropping it in the toilet at a dodgy nightclub and then covering it in chilli sauce be closer to the truth…?
It’s definitely a thin line to tread, centralising creative across markets can save money in the short term but if the creative doesn’t resonate with the target audience and take into account nuances in each market then what are the long term implications for the health and sales of a brand?
I guess we’ll find out in the future but I’ll really start to worry if I start to see the Ferrero Rocher ambassadors party again or even worse the Kinder egg advert.