As the curtains close on CES 2024, Carat's podcast, "The Human Element," brings you a front-row seat to the technological innovation we saw in Las Vegas this year. Our innovation leads Sarah Stringer, EVP Head of US Media Partnerships at dentsu; Michael Liu, EVP Head of Innovation at Carat; Whitney Fishman, EVP Head of Innovation at iProspect; Tommy Huthansel VP Head of Innovation at dentsu X, dove into the key insights and themes across CES, the annual trade show showcasing the latest products and technologies within the consumer electronics industry.
The collective energy of the show floor pointed to where our consumers are thinking and feeling. This heightened political climate is set to captivate the collective attention of a nation, leaving America in a state of hyper-focused anticipation. The economic shakiness of the past year has not done anything to lessen our concerns about an impending recession. We also enter this year with an understanding of the duality of media, where media bombardment is inevitable, and brands must grapple with how to use media for the betterment of consumer mental well-being.
And from this shared energy, there was a noticeable shift toward practical conversations:
The challenges of this past year, full of economic headwinds, has prompted a refocus on tangible outcomes and a recognition that not every innovation will make it. Brands are embracing being engaged in meaningful dialogues, with a new level of appreciation for being present, where the conversation must reflect the reality of our times.
The rise of Practical AI:
Discussions highlighted the importance of establishing a clear innovation mission statement to ensure alignment with brand goals. This year the CES show floor was filled with screens, gadgets, and innovations that transcend the boundaries of our daily lives. Participants are actively involved in substantive conversations regarding the utilization of new tools, API connections, and integrations to foster business growth. A noticeable atmosphere of optimism, concentration, and awareness prevails, emphasizing the understanding that real progress necessitates concrete actions.
The dynamic landscape of AI and its incorporation into diverse sectors sparks fascination, with brands wrestling with the challenge of applying this technology to meet their distinct and authentic requirements. The focus on AI, not just as a product but a practical feature , reflects a shift towards leveraging technology for efficiency, stretching resources, and navigating the complex media landscape with ingenuity.
Consumer insights at the heart of it all:
Amid the myriad of innovations, the see-through TV and The Sphere steal the spotlight, offering a glimpse into a future where technology seamlessly integrates with our daily lives. Behind every seemingly peculiar innovation lies a kernel of consumer insight, reinforcing the notion that these technologies address genuine human concerns. The AI stroller, a self-pushing device, is not merely a gadget but an on-the-go assistant for those with mobility support needs, offering a newfound sense of independence. Amidst the oddities, such as a robot chasing pets or smart binoculars identifying birds, the underlying theme is a focus on improving lives, offering convenience, and fostering meaningful connections.
Generational influences and targeting strategies:
CES consistently highlights technological advancements in healthcare, particularly focusing on aging health and well-being for both the elderly and the younger generation. The theme of in-home wellness and companionship prevails, extending to mental health, support, and education. As the last Boomer hits 60, a significant 51% of spendable wealth in the United States rests with this generation, and this figure is set to rise. The impact of COVID has prompted shifts in living arrangements, with many spending more time in their parents' homes. Amidst this, there's a noteworthy change in how people engage, entertain, and spend. Despite the inclination to chase youth, Boomers play a crucial role, often writing checks for family trips and holiday investments. Recognizing the interchangeable roles of influencers and purchasers is key.
This shift toward practical conversations at CES 2024 signifies a commitment to deliver meaningful, impactful solutions that address real-world needs and challenges. It aligns with the imperative of making technology a tangible force for positive change, particularly as we collectively envision a future that is not only intelligent and more inclusive but also economically sustainable and resource-efficient. In essence, the emphasis on practicality becomes a strategic imperative, ensuring that innovation goes beyond the idea phase and becomes a force for practical, real-world applications.
The Human Element: A Carat Podcast, explores how insight and humanity impact modern marketing to build stronger brands. Want more of this conversation? Tune in to the full podcast episode here.
Dentsu’s CES 2024 Rewind covers some of most compelling innovations showcased at the event, grounding emerging trends and latest technologies, for marketers and media practitioners to keep in mind when developing future-ready strategies to accelerate growth. Click here to pre-subscribe to the CES 2024 Rewind report.