Consumer Electronics Show

As Tech Landscape Evolves, CES Holds Execs' Interest

Marketers Weigh in on What They'll Be Doing and Looking for in Las Vegas

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Antonio Lucio, Chris Capossela, Bonin Bough, Raja Rajamannar, Laurent Faracci, Brad Feinberg, Rachel Weiss
Antonio Lucio, Chris Capossela, Bonin Bough, Raja Rajamannar, Laurent Faracci, Brad Feinberg, Rachel Weiss Credit: Feinberg photo courtesy ANA


What do you expect to see at CES?

The beauty of CES is that there is always something that surprises and delights. I expect we'll see what we call "Wave 2 technologies"—the technologies and innovative categories that are just around the corner, but are not yet fully mainstream—Internet of Things, wearables, virtual reality, 3-D printing and immersive computing, to name a few.

What technologies excite you?

One area I'm really excited about is the collision between the 2-D and 3-D worlds. This is our version of the big bang, and we have created an entirely new category that we call Blended Reality. We're leveraging both immersive computing and 3-D printing to take things from the physical world into the digital world and back out to the physical.


Why are you attending CES?

We have been at CES for a while but our interest is growing. CES is a great way to kick-start the year with the lifeblood of our business and our special mantra at RB: innovation.

How has CES maintained its importance?

With the consumer and the shopper moving so much of their time and attention to mobile devices and with the Internet of Things finally picking up pace, it is business-critical to lean forward toward the source of digital, tech and mobile innovation. What CES uniquely brings is the best of connected innovation in one place. That is why it has an evolving but growing share of our focus.


Why are you attending CES?

I have been attending on and off for the past 15 years. I feel now, more than ever, it has become an essential conference to attend as more and more marketers and innovators are going. I really use CES as a place to inspire myself and take back this inspiration to our teams at L'Oréal.

What do you hope to get out of it?

I'm excited to see what innovative device, product, idea everyone is buzzing about, and if it's a viable opportunity for L'Oréal. Also, the intersection of beauty and health will be happening at CES, and I'm eager to see how that is being manifested through the connected home and through a new generation of wearables.


What's your schedule like?

Our meeting schedule is still being finalized by our agency partners, Initiative and Digitas. Our plan is to meet with some marketing technology startups, some of our current digital partners (e.g. Google, Woven) and some potential media and tech partners (e.g. Sony PlayStation, TubeMogul). I am looking forward to attending the Brian Cooley kickoff presentation, as well as the Smart Home Exhibit Floor.

Why is CES important?

It is just as important for us to attend CES for the meetings and conversations outside the exhibit hall as it is [to attend for] our curated convention floor tour with our agency partners. CES showcases how innovation can influence our thinking and approach to marketing technology. CES has maintained its importance by evolving its offering to reflect changes in consumer trends, and it has become a place where marketers get together to address our future through the lens of key industry leaders.


Do you have any examples of things from past shows that you've implemented?

If you look at the work we did on the Oreo 3-D printer, [CES was] kind of where we finalized the idea. We had a general sense that we wanted to create some type of experience that customized an Oreo cookie, which ultimately led to the launch that we just did of Colorfilled, our first custom product delivered direct to consumer. Starting at CES 2014 is really where we solidified what our thinking was as we met some of the other 3-D printer players in the marketplace. You begin to see where the future is going and what are the big trends. It wasn't really 3-D printing as much as it was the on-demand customization of products.

Do you think CES has maintained its importance?

I actually think that it's more important now than ever. It's the beginning of the year, so it's the first place that everybody gets back together after the holidays. There's become a much larger presence of the media industry there. I think that the most important thing is that now we're seeing startups; we're seeing emerging tech; we're seeing stuff that's coming out of Indiegogo; we're seeing stuff that's coming out of Techstars. So we're really seeing what used to be tech that lived in the Valley now truly becoming part of the consumer lexicon in a bigger way, and that's what's going to transform the way we connect with consumers.


Why is CES important?

It's such a preeminent event that has gained such credibility and momentum behind it. You have got the kind of participation out there from innovators, from key decision makers—it's fantastic. I don't think you can afford not to be there, at this kind of event. You can accomplish in one place what could take months to accomplish if you did it on an individual basis.

For financial institutions, how important are the tech innovations on display at CES?

We as companies have to stay well ahead of [fraudsters'] tricks and be on the cutting edge of technology. From a consumer point of view, it's experience. We come up with different innovations [for them.] The consumer would not think of it by themselves, so we have to come up with the innovations that truly make their lives safer, more convenient and more enjoyable. All this cannot happen if we're sitting in an ivory tower—we have to be out there to see what's happening and leverage what's working.


What do you expect to see at CES?

I think it will be more of the same. The explosion of devices that we are seeing at CES will be more user oriented. So, lots of wearables and lots of drones. Basically, the devices that all have the same architecture that PCs have but in interesting new form factors.

What's on your agenda?

It is always great to hear from the industry. The show happens in January and it is a great chance for us to hear from retailers on how they did during the holiday shopping season. That is more valuable than the show or walking the floor. I want to know what the holiday was like and what did we do really well together.


Why are you attending CES?

I attend each year to meet with business partners and speak at our AT&T Developer Summit, which occurs just before CES. I tried and can't count how many times I've been there but its definitely since COMDEX was retired, going back to my days at Palm and other companies.

Why is CES important?

CES is clearly evolving. It's no longer a technology show. It is a connected life show, it is an advertising and media show. The one thing that's pervasive is that everything is wireless. ... I love that.


What does your schedule look like?

We are meeting with a number of key partners and vendors and hope to see new smart home technology products and services. We are planning on meeting with a number of key media and demonstrating how Iris is relevant and changes with you throughout your life as your needs change -- from your first apartment, to the suburban home and a growing family, to the empty nest years. Iris' smart home technologies add value and help make your life easier and more enjoyable.

Why is technology important to Lowe's and the home improvement space?

As more devices around the home become connected, our definition of home improvement has needed to evolve. With Iris, we are providing an easy to operate system for our customers to connect all of these different devices through one simple user interface. Making smart home technology easy for customers to purchase and operate is one of our key goals, making it relevant and engaging to home improvement customers is how we think we will differentiate Lowe's with Iris against many of the other competitors here.

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