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Advertainment, Fast and Galileo: the top advertising buzzwords lighting up CES 2023

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By Audrey Kemp | LA reporter

January 6, 2023 | 7 min read

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is back in full force and adland is here for it. Here are three topics on the lips and minds of marketers at the event in Las Vegas this week.

Kelli Hurley, LeVar Burton, Sarah Stringer and Natrian Maxwell

Left to right: Kelli Hurley, LeVar Burton, Sarah Stringer and Natrian Maxwell / Credit: Audrey Kemp

Whether it’s a product placement that consumers actually want to watch or an emerging advertising boon in free television, adland will have lots of buzzy things to talk about in the new year, according to experts at Comcast Advertising, The Trade Desk and Sag Aftra at CES this week.

1. ‘Advertainment’ gets top billing

“Advertainment,“ often characterized by product placement in a feature film, is not a new concept. However, emerging technologies in advertainment are creating new opportunities for the advertising and entertainment industries to collaborate on inventive, long-form branded stories. These can look like creator sponsorships or product placements within feature films.

“Advertainment is [not] a replacement of the 30- and 60-second commercials we’ve all become accustomed to,” Sue Anne Morrow, Sag-Aftra’s national director of contract strategic initiatives and podcasts, said in a panel discussion. ”It gives advertisers the opportunity to spend long, quality time with consumers in a way that makes consumers want to see their content rather than try to get away from it.”

Consumers often encounter advertainment in the multi-billion-dollar podcast industry. Former Star Trek actor LeVar Burton said in a panel that he has found immense success with branded sponsorships in his popular podcast, LeVar Burton Reads. “The field [of podcasting] is going to get bigger and bigger... giving the audience content they can choose based on their own preferences, what they‘re interested in, is a good thing,“ Burton said in a panel discussion. “For advertisers, the opportunity is and will continue to be, a leg up. You can identify and specifically target those demographics that are more aligned with your product.“

2. Advertisers must move Fast into free ad-supported TV

Amid enduring economic pressures, streaming TV has undergone a dramatic shift from a predominantly subscription-based, ad-free model to free ad-supported streaming TV (Fast).

By and large, consumers have responded positively to these ads, as data suggests they are more than willing to sit through ads so long as the content remains free to them.

Experts at CES have weighed in on this newly established and exciting space for ads. “We see Fast services as a sleeping giant... it sort of crept up on people and that’s really exciting,“ Comcast Advertising’s president James Rooke said in a panel discussion. “The opportunity is, I think, in front of those in the Fast space... Now the hard work begins... to realize that potential.“

In tandem with the rise of Fast, new targeting data tools are also emerging. One such tool is automatic content recognition (ACR). Some believe it is upending the way advertisers can view television as a channel, helping them identify their target consumers for custom media plans. “ACR is very important for a certain segment for advertisers – if you’re in a media environment looking for tune-ins to a show... it’s a critical tool,“ says Colin Petrie-Norris, chief revenue officer for Xumo. “It has applications that are very important.“

3. Trade Desk debuts Galileo

As the third-party cookie continues to crumble, advertisers must now aggregate first-party data to optimize their media buys.

At CES, The Trade Desk unveiled its new first-party data hub, Galileo, which the adtech company says offers a new approach for advertiser first-party data activation while keeping consumer privacy intact.

“What many people might not know is that the third-party data ecosystem that has been supporting the internet for the last 20 years has transformed, especially in 2022. Where everything used to be keyed off of cookies, now almost everything is keyed off of email addresses, leveraging currencies,“ Jeff Green, chief executive officer of The Trade Desk, said in a panel discussion. “It makes it possible for Galileo to really transform things for advertisers [in] the open internet.“

While Galileo offers one solution, third-party aggregation products, and first-party data strategies at large, are still in their infancy, and many companies are just beginning to navigate this shift. Kari Marshall, vice president of media at T-Mobile said in a panel: “We need to redefine what our data strategy is internally, and privacy has the biggest seat at the table... it will be the driving force for all digital.“

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