Chicago Technology Disruption

Chicago top brass from Omnicom, Initiative and GRP talk tech disruption in their market


By Adam Cohen-Aslatei, Senior director of marketing

July 5, 2018 | 5 min read

What’s better than Chicago deep dish pizza, more spectacular than Willis Tower, and more famous than Al Capone? It’s Chicago's all star marketers, who in many ways are leading marketing innovation by actually implementing and testing new technologies that are moving the needle for some of the Midwest’s biggest brands. From Intel to Gatorade and Academy Sports, agency leaders that work on these mega brands are testing out the impact of voice, artificial intelligence, and machine learning in order to create a more cohesive, custom, and relevant brand experience.


Jun Group interviewed members of Chicago's advertising elite to see what's been the most disruptive tech in their market / Neal Kharawala

More relevant and personalized experiences can have huge payoffs for brands. In fact, 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from businesses that offer them. And 71% of people also prefer ads that are tailored to their interests, with 44% of people willing to give up personal information to get more bespoke advertising. The top three reasons consumers prefer personalized ads is to reduce irrelevant messages, discover new products, and make online shopping easier. This is something that becomes a win-win-win for consumers, brands, and publishers alike.

Some of Chicago’s finest are heeding the call and encouraging their clients to test new ways to connect with their consumers in value-enhancing ways. Jun Group had the opportunity to sit down with Chi-town’s top brass to find out how some of the biggest agencies are advising Fortune 500 brands to lean in to nascent technologies and improve the consumer experience. From personalization to voiceand the new consumer journey, these videos provide a glimpse into developments moving the needle in 2018.

Adam Gilbert, head of digital MidWest Initiative, on a more personalized customer experience:

“As more traditional channels are coming online, we have opportunities to learn about consumers and create more culturally relevant brand messages. In addition to that, I think there are a lot of opportunities with new technologies. If we look at the likes of artificial intelligence and conversational interfaces, ultimately those technologies are enabling opportunities for brands to create on-the-fly customized content, which means that experiences are much more relevant to the point where it's no longer advertising.”

Craig Johnson, group account director, Omnicom on video content marketing

"We have a strong presence with social. Intel does a great job connecting the activity that we're seeing in the marketplace from the Olympics, or NBA, or NCAA. Intel is pervasive with their technologies. What you don’t see is that they drive a lot of the video activity within the NCAA tournaments, the NBA, the NFL. All those camera angles that tend to switch and show you different perspectives is Intel. We are bringing that [video footage] back out through social channels. And we see really strong results from social."

Laura Desmond, former chief executive at Starcom, on voice technology

"Voice is potentially the biggest disruptor to branding and to advertising that we’ve seen since mobile. And the reasons for this are really simple: It's not like radio—it's not like going back to the future—if you don’t have brands top of mind, and you don't have personal preferences, or personal power to bring up unaided recall, then brands could be in trouble. And so voice could be super disruptive."

Bob Porcaro, executive vice president, managing director, at GRP Media on the fragmented consumer journey

"One of the things we say is that the consumer journey is not linear. It used to be linear, or at least we used to think it was. We try to help clients solve that or understand that. You have to embrace the messiness of it and understand that basically everybody is going to take a different kind of journey. So it's more important to focus on being in all the places that your consumers are."

Adam Cohen-Aslatei is vice president of marketing at Jun Group.

Chicago Technology Disruption

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