Ad – Leading Technology

Coming to Cannes as an engineer, being serious about and around technology, one expects the pretty side of life, body cult, unfulfilled statements, more style than life and many, many great ideas lost to campaigns and stuff. Reflecting some impressions along my topics for this conference (Will machine be creative?) and astonishingly, I found ad though is very much about technology with the potential to even lead the industry on the human aspects of it.

To start with, two companies leading artificial intelligence, Google and Facebook, derive their cash-flow from ad. And no myth what this competence will be used for. People will refine algorithm and artificial minds, minds will take care for streams and consumers. There’s even speculation that Google might make more revenue in years to come with AI than Ads.

Ad companies missing capability to sample data in the first place and how to extract gold nuggets from that stream, may find themselves falling out of their revenue cloud. Data management is a big thing in ad and you’ll find some of the best examples in the industry. There’s presence in Cannes of the big IT guys, signaling the flag for the race. In addition automation has practices of agencies and publishers, DevOps being no alien word. Technology will become the platform for promotional creativity and inspiration attract attention and arrive with consumers.

At the same time there’s huge incremental potential for ad and communication, as even the last consumer at electronic shops recognizes the impact of the user experience and how technology needs to relate to a compelling experience. Ad can help businesses to understand the value of innovations and how the experience will resonate with the lifes of consumers. Next to gaming, it’s the place to explore the combination of future visual and interaction technologies for people:

– Like there’s pre-development in some industries (unfortunately not all), there need to be pre-marketing, communicating new concepts directly from the development pipe to inspire clients and give them the right context about future developments. Costs for prototypes can be leveraged for inspiration and solidification. The challenge being for former uni-directional casters is to gather feedback and feed this back to the development of new products.
– Visualization and interaction technologies like 360°, Drones, VR, AR, Bots etc. may be explored for ads and communication, before becoming part of products. Usability and RoI at this stage are no consideration, rather awareness, inspiration and the feeling for future use and benefit potential.
– Ad it is the place to combine and explore virtual and real. What will become the infrastructure theme for all aspects of life, ad has a lead in exploration and experiences created. Think about modeling, think about signaling, think about locality based services. All the others will have a look at ad.
– For media to survive and for adds to arrive, the mood, the situation and even the context of the consumer has to be understood and the message has to specifically meet these findings. That’s a technical and cognitive challenge, which, when solved, will provide huge potential for the dry, uninspired world (still) of business applications.
– Ads can play. Less exposed to liability issues, impressions and feedback can be gathered, without loss of face or image.

Creativity in the end is about unique experiences for consumers. The ad business in future will be about unique experiences for the individual and unique feedback for even better products.

So I’m getting back to BaWue with a different view on this industry. Conventional ad practices will likely shrink, but ads exploring future use of technology, modeling the user experience and augmenting life perspective of consumers will become a market to grow. And might even become a field for people focusing on product innovation.

Live aus Cannes – Eberhard Frank