CES returned to Las Vegas this year, but the comeback didn’t live up to the show’s pre-pandemic reputation. Previously known for its palpable energy fueled by speaking events, content releases, performances and parties, this year was far more intimate, with closed-door meetings and invite-only discussions. Attendance was about half that of pre-pandemic shows, with roughly 100,000 attendees. However, the dialed-back version of CES was in good taste following unexpected industry-wide layoffs in the last few months.
Media companies and agencies stepped back from flashy events, keeping things quiet and fiscally responsible. Conversations about media advancements and investment centered on performance media and measurement, with brands staying hyper-focused on ROI and making smaller budgets work harder. The atmosphere felt similar to the beginning of the 2020 COVID-pandemic – timid and uncertain.
CES Trends & What to Watch
Brand media investment is on the back burner
- Advertisers are pulling back budget in this time of uncertainty and waiting for the “best” time to invest in brand. However, from a marketer’s perspective, investing while others are pulling back provides an opportunity to stand out and create lasting relationships with consumers.
- Although the economy is cooling, brands looking to get noticed have an opportunity to create cultural impact, be competitive in the marketplace, tell unique stories, and make a lasting impression on consumers (Everything you missed at CES 2023)
Innovations focused on accessibility
Smart health & accessibility was a key theme, with several brands introducing products designed to enable people with disabilities navigate the world with ease. Some highlights include:
- HAPTA by L’Oréal is a computerized lipstick tool for people with limited fine motor skills
- Project Leonardo is a customizable controller kit for PlayStation 5
- Dignity Lifts – Allows people with little movement to use the toilet independently
Tech companies are lazer focused on AI advancements
Artifical intelligence is a key priority with AI invention previews prevalent across all inudustries
- From every day tools like watches and lawnmowers to autonomous EV charging robots, AI was at the forefront of new tech gadgets.
- ChatGBT was a key talking point for content companies – Something to watch as early adoption ramps up. Could journalism and creative writing change forever? Or is the human touch of storytelling something AI can’t master?… yet
Sustainable tech was a huge draw
- Sustainabilty was a major focus for almost every company, especially consumer electronic brands including LG, Samsung, and Schneider who touted Smart Home energy systems to reduce the usage of gas with cleaner energy
- The Auto industry was prominent and broke through the clutter on the show floor with brands such as Volkswagon and John Deere touting new EVs and discussing the commitment of the industry to go “all in” with electric vehicles, trucks, and all transportation
Metaverse is growing momentum, slowly
what the Metaverse is and its potential through
experimentation has been the focus the last two years. 2023 is filled with
promise as marketers and companies start to think about using the technology to
improve products and services for consumers
- Web3 and Blockchain advancements will only catapult the potential for the Metaverse, which will start to come to fruition in the year ahead
- Inclusivity is key. Technology that makes every day tools accessible to consumers and improve life experience is important to make a priority
- Commitment to sustainability can’t wait and is essential for all industries – This crosses all facets of life: Home, Health, Mobility, Work, Transportation, and more
- Everyone needs to watch ChatGBT as it grows and challenges the traditional model of communication and content creation
- The Metaverse & Web3 will continue to transform, but there is still much to understand about its potential
- Brands that lean in during this time of economic uncertainty and technological advancements have the opportunity to drive cultural conversation and impact that can propel growth and build brand recognition