Storming The Winter Palace

 “People want my power,

And they want my station,

Stormed my winter palace,

But they couldn’t take it!

All the way to Paris,

Ruin my reputation,

Try to pull my status, 

But they couldn’t fake it!”

--“Go” by Santigold

This week, Las Vegas is being stormed by legions from Madison Ave., Silicon Valley and Hollywood, descending on the annual CES melee. I decided to skip the madness this year; however, I have been watching the tweets and various updates from afar. 

Each year, the intersection of Madison, Vine and Silicon Valley continues to become more crowded, blurring the lines of distinction between the three. I believe this crowded intersection is awesome and is what is driving amazing innovation in the marketplace for media and entertainment. Yes, the new insanely high-def 8K TVs, interactive coffee tables to virtual fitting rooms are crazy cool, and I will be ready to adopt when they hit the shelves in the next 12-18 months. 



While people are drooling over the latest tech gadgets, one of the things that I’ve always been on the look-out for is the relationship between media, user interface design and entertainment and have used that as a proxy for where consumer trends are heading. For example, consider some of the panels on Wednesday: “The Next Interface – You” or “Branded Media Marketing: Across Platforms – TV, Film, Broadband Virtual Worlds, Music and Games – Reinventing The Commerce & Media Model.”

Aside from the really long title of that last panel, consider the intersection of the entertainment and media world with a Nest thermostat, which is what was discussed on the “The Next Interface –You” panel, yet it has implications with the other panel in several ways. With a Nest thermostat, you can now control it as easily as your DVR and do it from your couch or from a thousand miles away – all from your smartphone.

Understanding the trickle-down impact of apps and media consumption, and building in such things as game theory have led to something as boring as the thermostat market getting disrupted by an upstart. In many ways, I don’t see much business differentiation between streaming movies to my iPad and what Nest is doing and where it can go with that device. 

Looking at the unlikely synthesis of some of the partnerships on the vast CES show floor can provide key insights for entertainment brands as well as many other non-traditional brands to employ simple elements from the world of entertainment and media marketing. If Nest can make one of the most boring household devices sexy, what can you do with an entertainment brand by thinking about your business in a much different way?

If you stormed the Winter Palace of CES and saw some interesting or odd marketing relationships on the show floor, I would love to hear about them – drop your thoughts in the comment box below.

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