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Blippar CEO Ambarish Mitra on how technology is 'fundamentally changing' marketing


By Gillian West | Social media manager

November 19, 2013 | 4 min read

As the digital world continues to evolve apace, Blippar founder and CEO Ambarish Mitra is striving to find a way to unite the physical world with the digital one.

Speaking with The Drum ahead of its 4 Minute Warning conference in December Mitra explained: “We live in a physical world and that world is not going anywhere but we need to start connecting the user and the brand between the physical and the digital. For the last four decades brands have been spending 90 per cent of their whole budget on above-the-line media and still to this day the bulk of advertising budgets are spend this way without truly realising how the consumer reacts to it with nothing to measure it by. But platforms like Blippar mean above-the-line media is no longer blind like it was before.”

Describing Blippar as a “bridge between the physical and digital” Mitra reveals that technology has enabled “everything that is out and visible to us to talk to us”. And by talking to us Mitra doesn’t mean advertise to us, “we don’t see it as advertising, we see it as content. Consumers are now much smarter and more aware if you do typical communications people will browse through it. The reason why platforms like Blippar are adding value is because they user gets what they want – rich media content.”

According to Mitra platforms like Blippar are “fundamentally changing” the way brands market to consumers because the end product can become “the biggest source of your own advertising”. One such example of this is a campaign run by soft drinks brand JuiceBurst where consumers could Blipp the bottle in order to win a free JuiceBurst.

“What I like about this campaign is people are not only buying and drinking the juice, they are keeping the bottle to play a game and it’s a completely new way of advertising. Technology allows the brand to communicate to the users straight from the product and this is how things are changing, you don’t need to go to a YouTube channel or somewhere else, the information is already there,” he adds.

At the event Mitra will be discussing how new technology is set to revolutionise how consumers are interacting with marketing and advertising and stresses that we are on the cusp of a world of “partial singularity” meaning, our personal devices will soon start to contain so much information about us that they will become “extensions of our senses when making purchasing decisions”.

Not wanting to give away too much about his session at The Drum’s 4 Minute Warning, Mitra teases that the audience will no doubt be surprised when he discusses how much we already rely on machines, commenting: “When I say machines it all sounds very Terminator and Minority Report. But in reality all digital data is in some form machine data and we are helping robot data. Our reliance on machines will only continue to grow and everything we contribute today only helps makes machines grow smarter. There will be a time, very soon, where all our decisions will be 60 per cent human and 40 per cent machine contribution.”

If you’d like to hear Mitra’s discussion ‘True Singularity – Humans Meet Machines’ then join The Drum for Disruption Day at SapientNitro, London on 4 December. Also speaking at 4 Minute Warning will be Cyborg Foundation founder Neil Haribsson, Kate Stone MD of Novalia, and SEETHEUNSEEN materials alchemist Lauren Bowker. Ticket information and more details on the event can be found on the 4 Minute Warning site.

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