The future of media: Group M revs up MLab with a Tesla

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 29 September 2014

Tesla's are the coolest of the cool, the techiest of the tech, and also a key to how media and the connected car are becoming one. And one of the first places to see one in Australia, is at MLab.

Group M's MLab is back for the second year and AdNews was there for the first walk through. Held in Fox Studios, with each participating media company building an experience within the confines of empty shipping containers.

The Tesla Model S arrive doesn't arrive in Australia for a while, but Group M's MLab is the place to check one out this week to see how media owners and advertisers alike can tap ino its 17-inch dashboard touchscreen and in-car connectivity. The Tesla is part of Southern Cross Austereo's vision of the future and how the connected car – far from being the end of radio – is the opposite, according to SCA director of digital and innovation Clive Dickens.

With presentations from traditional media houses News Corp and Southern Cross Austereo, digital platforms Pandora and Shazam, as well as start ups Local Measure which taps into geo-located social, beacons firm Lighthouse and 3D Printing Studio, Group M wants to present a picture of what opportunities marketers and media owners are facing – and also what challenges they bring.

The final selection of firms involved was narrowed down from 45 potentials who were briefed to present, and Danny Bass, investment and knowledge officer at Group M said they ended up falling into three distinct categories: global media players, digital players and start ups. Those involved have a combined global R&D budget of $5.2 billion.

News Corp showed how it is starting to tap into mobile and get its local mastheads taking a social and mobile first approach to content, giving users access to the right content to fill waiting time in shops or on transport, as well as linking advertising content with RFID to make in-store purchases on mobile.

Sideline demos from Val Morgan Outdoor, Twitter and Instagram showed off facial recognition technology for outdoor advertising and a tweet powered vending machine giving away tech goodies in return for a tweet.

AdNews will be at MLab all week and hosting video highlights and interviews with some of Australia’s top marketers and business leaders who have seen what's on offer, and how it can influence their business.

Each day of the week-long event is hosted by a Group M agency, starting with Maxus.

Correction: This article originally stated that all available pre-ordered Tesla's for the Australian market had sold out. Tesla has since clarified that vehicles are made to order.

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