The trends marketers need to know from CES 2022

Rachel Page
By Rachel Page | 17 January 2022
Rachel Page.

Rachel Page, General Manager of Sales at Yahoo ANZ

From self-driving trucks to virtual twins, there was plenty of jaw-dropping tech on display at CES 2022 in Las Vegas. But what does this new tech changing the world around us mean for the future of the marketing and media industry?

Flipping the switch on immersive entertainment 

The tech industry is forecast to reach a record breaking $487 billion by the end of 2021, a seven and a half percent jump year over year for 2020. A massive part of this boom is the evolution of AR and VR technology to include new kinds of lenses, wearables, and autonomous devices.

Paul Travers, CEO at Vuzix, says their hands-free AR smart glasses blur the line between the physical and digital. 

“When you put these [smart glasses] on, the imagery in front of you could be connected to the cloud. There’s a space that looks like it belongs in the real world around you.”

Sony, High Sense and TCL are also capturing consumer attention in new ways. 8K displays transported viewers into a crystal clear hyper reality, with potential for elevating in-store or out-of-home cinema creative experience. 

At a time when consumers have become so screen blind, this kind of clarity of creative truly stands out and captures attention. Marketers should take note of how these lifelike and engaging digital experiences are connecting with consumers on a whole new level. 

Opening the door to wellbeing at home

Nearly 50% of US consumers believe wellness is of greater importance to them now than it was two or three years ago, meaning it’s more important than ever for healthcare to provide better consumer-centric experiences.

Sleep Number is just one company using tech to drive wellbeing at home. Its new 360 Smart Bed, launched at CES, focuses on ‘proactive healthcare’.

Peter Polos, Sleep Number’s Vice President, explains: “With the 360 Smart Bed, individuals can look at data that can tell them how well they slept, whether they snored, what their regular temperature was of their body, and so forth.”

LG has also announced a virtual ride concept that provides a fully immersive experience with three vertical 55-inch OLED displays wrapped around an exercise bike in a curved arm shaped display. 

Health and wellness is a way brands can express interest not just in the consumer's wallet, but also their wellbeing. It provides new touchpoints to ultimately build more loyal and productive relationships.

Putting your money where your mouth is

After the great pandemic reset, millennials and Gen Z consumers are turning towards conscious consumption. 79% of consumers either plan to, or already have, changed their purchase preferences based on economic, social or environmental impact. 

Jason Baruch, National Product Trainer, says Samsung has long been taking steps towards green initiatives, such as replacing batteries with solar cells in remote controls.

“When you're talking about passion points, sustainability and steps towards green initiatives are definitely something Samsung has taken very seriously for years now.”

Emerging tech can be fundamental in demonstrating your company’s commitment to DE&I and Corporate Social Responsibility.

For example, a CPG, QSR or retail brand that wants to demonstrate their commitment to preventing deforestation can use VR experience to transport consumers into the Amazon to show degradation over time.

Brands can also show their commitment through product development. For example JLab unveiled a new line of earbuds with a focus on skin tone colouration and Helm.AI is launching open source AI which makes access equitable and transparent. This kind of investment will prove to consumers that your company can go beyond just talk.

Autonomy is a resource

Most industries have been rocked by labour shortages down the supply chain, but CES proved this is a massive opportunity to implement hyper automation. Robotic process automation, low code application platforms, AI, and virtual assistants are just some ways organisations have begun automating their processes.

John Deere made waves at CES with the launch of their first fully autonomous tractor. The tractor will both help overcome the skilled labour shortage as well as increasing agricultural efficiency to increase global food supplies. 

While fully autonomous long haul trucking is some ways away, several major companies including Daimler, Waymo, Tesla, Embark and TuSimple are investing in self-driving trucks with experts claiming we’ll see them running as early as this year.

Jason Wallace, Head of Marketing at TuSimple, says they’re using automation to solve supply chain issues.

“One of the most powerful issues is a shortage of drivers. The ATA says that we're currently short 80,000 drivers in the US alone. And this is a problem that we also see in Europe.”

“Autonomous vehicles can operate nearly continuously, probably up to 23 hours a day, only stopping for refuelling and some preventative maintenance. It’s a really powerful solution to some of the supply chain's biggest issues.”

A creative awakening

The hot topic of data and privacy was an undercurrent at CES, as these are the two 

huge industry themes marketers will need to stay on top of this year.

Web 3.0 and the decentralisation of data is returning data ownership back to consumers. In anticipating a cookieless world, we have to consider what happens when third party data is restricted. 

That's where the new version of contextual targeting and a creative awakening comes into play. The new contextual targeting of today delivers relevant ads by analysing the content being consumed, not the person consuming the content. 

From a creative perspective, we need to be much smarter about leveraging performance, learnings and insights from previous campaigns to inform future creative. With great change comes great opportunity, and we all have the ability to create new standards as we embrace the next chapter of technology.

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