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Friday, March 11
Media consumers are serious now. They really, really don’t like the ad-cluttered, laggy, tag-strewn, data guzzling user experience. And a host of ad-blocking companies (aided by Apple) just made it easier for users to take control and shut the madness down. Are we all pirates, now – “stealing” content without paying in ad views? Is it just the publishers and advertisers’ own damned fault? More to the point, who si going to fix it?
- Doug Ziewacz, Head of NA Media and Advertising, UnderArmour Connected Fitness
Video screens fore and aft, connected to your media trove in the cloud. Automated parking, crash aversion systems, voice commands, rear-view and dash cams. GPS, phones and highway cams recording your every move. And of course, the coming ultimate self-driving machine. A century of auto marketing was built on the American ethos of independence, adventure, speed, the thrill and control of the drive. But how do you market the car of the future that drives itself? That talks to you? That entertains the kids? That feels more like home than a thrilling adventure? How do we sell cars when digitization at every level seems to redefine the very definition of a car?
Saturday, March 12
The next store you enter may be in your head…or on your head. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) systems could revolutionize how marketers interact with consumers and how shoppers experience products. Our panel of pioneering marketers will discuss how they and their customers are exploring virtual space. Is this the dawn of “Retail Everywhere”? Will consumers strap on your store to walk the aisles virtually or shop with friends who are thousands of miles apart? Are VR test drives in the car showroom (or in your living room?) going to make for more informed purchases? Will AR make live shopping as data-rich as online browsing? Traditional retail is struggling, like everyone else, against the digital juggernaut. Will VR and AR be the answer?
The search for marketing “authenticity” in social channels has led marketers to countless partnerships with YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat “stars” as well as the more numerous class of “influencers.” But these hookups can be fraught with peril: clashing creative priorities, influencer fears of “selling out,” unclear expectations and more. So, when, how, and to what end do you really want to “co-create” your brand with people who have no marketing experience but piles of fans? Are they really the new generation of celebrity?
Personal broadcasting turns everyone into a mobile TV network…even advertisers. But broadcasting in real-time, raw and unedited is a high wire act that is not for the feint of heart. Whish risk-taking brands are connecting so directly with their customers via Periscope and Meerkat? What does it take to get customers to tap into a brand’s live event? And what could possibly go wrong?
Many brands claim to be putting “content marketing” at the heart of their master plan. In fact, user aversion to traditional advertising has become so fierce (ad-skipping, ad-blocking, ad-blindness) there may be no alternative. But are marketers any good at this? What is a good “brand story” anyway? And what kinds of content really move people towards brand affinity and the sale?