Welcome back to our round-up of the most transformative technologies and trends in the advertising world right now. Now, where were we?
Service design is the science of creating and delivering meaningful services through modern technology. Many developed countries’ economies are generally dominated by the service industry. With constantly changing technological progress, it is undeniable that both should evolve concurrently. For example, Aloft hotel in Bangkok simplifies the customer experience by letting guests control everything during their stay with a phone doubling as a room card.
In advertising, connecting brands to services helps them to re-imagine their offerings with technology. Louis Vuitton redesigned the city guide with Amble, an app providing geo-tagged content from users and celebrities in various cities across the globe, to inspire travelers while staying aligned with Louis Vuitton’s brand values. By taking on the role of a personal trainer, Nike’s fuel band uses technology to add value to its customers. Agencies should always keep in mind what services their clients’ products relate to, and find disruptive ways to redesign them.
The McKinsey Global Institute recently reported; “For the past several decades, robots have taken on physically difficult, dangerous, or dirty jobs, such as welding and spray painting. These robots have been expensive, bulky, and inflexible. Now, more advanced robots are gaining enhanced senses, dexterity, and intelligence, thanks to accelerating advancements in machine vision, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, sensors, and actuators.”
This presents a huge opportunity to create disruptive campaigns. For the 2010 World Cup, Castrolcreated a robot that could shoot the most powerful free kicks in the world. Restaurants in Japan and more recently China have added robot waiters and cooks to their staff; they have benefited from considerable amounts of local and foreign earned media, which is exactly what brands tend to look for.
3D printing has been around for almost 25 years, but it has been used exclusively by engineers to create pre-production prototypes. It is only in the last year that it has become more widely accessible, giving everyone the chance to manufacture personalized final products such as furniture, guns, sugar, prosthetic limbs, and clothing. Retailers like Tesco have recently invested to make the technology available in-store for a more personalized product offering. Online, eBay has beta launched eBay Exact, letting users create one-of-a-kind products based on their personal desires and preferences.
Agencies would be wise to incorporate this technology into their brainstorming ecosystem; it is a celebration of the power of individuality, at a cost that is decreasing by the day. IBM grasped this opportunity during England’s international tennis open, with their data-driven 3D printed souvenir campaign.
According to McKinsey director James Manyika, “the trend of Big Data growth presents enormous challenges, but also incredible business opportunities”. Big Data is probably one of the most discussed topics of 2013, whether it’s in the communication, technology or consulting industries. Over the last two years we have generated 90% of all data ever created. This is disrupting the way organizations make decisions.
For businesses dealing with large quantities of information daily, Big Data can be used to demonstrate their ability to capture and understand it. CNN has beautifully captured thousands of Twitter feeds in an online and offline Ecosphere. IBM, which holds Big Data at the core of its DNA, created Watson, a supercomputer capable of beating human Jeopardy champions. Ubisoft, for the launch of WatchDogs, created impressive live data maps of London, Paris and Berlin, letting users discover the power of data over modern cities.
The importance of Big Data within the advertising industry is such that agencies should consider creating dedicated “Big Data SWOT” teams to analyze the market data shared by their clients and to process it for the rest of the stakeholders. In other words, it can function as an interpreter between the realms of data science and social science.
Thus concludes our guide to the ever-evolving ad world. Whether individually or in combination, these technologies and their processes have the capacity to disrupt and subvert the advertising paradigm – but it is worth remembering that the art of storytelling should remain at the centre of advertising. Technology always works best when contextualized and simplified. It is the story that makes a connection with the consumer, and starts a conversation.