The future of advertising: how to avoid brand bypass

Unruly Futurist Elena Corchero talks about her experience at DMEXCO earlier this month, the future of advertising, and how to avoid brand bypass.

This year a lot of the conversations we had were around the future of advertising and the rise of ambient tech. We also spoke about the growth of data produced by humans, and how it’s doubling every year.

Everyone knows that voice technology and voice shopping is on the rise. However, I was surprised about the number of brands who hadn’t considered the implications of brand bypass.

Brand bypass in AI

Companies are using voice assistants, and piggybacking on the tech of Alexa, Google or Messenger to create specialised assistants. A good example of this is Diageo’s “Open the bar”, or Estée Laude offering nutritional advice, where you have the dialogue with the brand, not Alexa. This is one way for brands to avoid the brand bypass.

It’s a big issue. I spoke to a lot of people about the new B2B: bot to bot. In the future new AI applications will take over interaction, negotiation and even advertising which will lead to the elimination of choice for consumers. Just think it through: the first brand you choose comes into your connected home, and there are going to be many barriers to switch that brand out for another.

Imagine your fridge has image recognition. It knows what brands you have on the shelves so when you run out of juice, the fridge and home AI reorder the same juice for delivery. So when are you going to switch brands? It’s going to take significant energy to get in the way of that bot to bot transition.

Brand bypass in voice

Another example is that we will order through voice but not mention a specific brand. This means our AI will default to our usual choice. Appliances are partnering with cleaning brands so they can already come pre-programmed to order specific chemicals such as detergent or dishwasher tablets.

Finish, smart dishwasher

It’s clear we need to understand how to use these technologies to create stronger brand and emotional connections, and also how these technologies can allow people to switch brands when they know something better is available.

Brand bypass in image recognition

Brand bypass is also an issue in image recognition. Google had an enormous stand at DMEXCO showing image recognition technology. I checked it out and it was a surprise to me to see how many brands had not considered the impact of this. Not least the value of the data which the image search platforms will generate. They will know exactly what people are searching for and buying to a highly accurate level. This sort of data can impact the manufacturing chain. Pinterest gets around 600,000 visual searches a month, so consumers are ahead of brands on this!

All the ambient technologies were on show at DMEXCO. For me, voice is where the action is. Primarily because the car will drive voice adoption. New cars are increasingly voice enabled, so when you leave the car and don’t have that assistance, you’re going to miss it!avoiding brand bypass in voice activated cars

Ambient tech awareness

Strangely, as I talked people through the implications of voice, AR and AI technologies, the most common question I was asked was “is this out now?”

Many people, senior brand marketers among them, didn’t realise how these ‘futuristic’ things were actually here now, even in a mature market like Germany. And where there was some awareness of ambient tech, there was very little first-hand experience.

It reaffirmed the role the Home plays in telling the story of ambient technology, which is essential if brands are going to build effective consumer relationships and deliver effective, relevant and timely advertising. The future of advertising is already here!

Unruly futurists Elena Corchero and Leo Bernard

Find out more about our connected home, and book in a tour with one of our Futurists.

DMEXCO Insights: This year’s DMEXCO is going to be fantastic! Not only does Unruly have one of the most epic stands we’ve ever had, but we’re also at a point in time when there has never been so much change, disruption, and opportunity within the digital advertising ecosystem.

Photo of the Unruly stand at DMEXCO 2016.

Here are seven questions that I believe will be the most debated topics at DMEXCO 2018, and I’ll be there to quiz some of the world’s biggest brands and advertisers on their thoughts around each one.

Where do brands sit on the bid caching debate?

Many have mooted the benefits for both the buy and sell sides of bid caching when executed in a transparent environment. Others feel there are too many risks associated with the practice, so I’m keen to see how the wind blows on this topic, as auction mechanics are often an emotive subject for all involved.

Who will own digital identity in 2019?

The walls get higher by the day, yet very few ask how brands and their agencies will manage the basics of media buying such as holistic reach, frequency and attribution. I’m keen to see what this will look like, especially considering that every vendor in the near future will be using their own proprietary ID rather than cookies.

What will data portability look like? Will DMPs fold into CDPs? How will attribution modeling work? Is there a need for an independent and agnostic media platform to sit below the walled garden that provides global brands with an ID clearing house/taxonomy, so they can plan and buy more efficiently in the face of ID blindness?

How are publishers winning post GDPR?

I’m looking forward to spending time with premium publishers at both ATS and DMEXCO to  see the unified auction set-up play out. I’m also interested in finding out how publishers are leveraging EBDA, S2S, client side, and a multitude of other configurations to capture and grow their digital revenues in 2018. I’m also going to be talking to publishers about the evolution of auction mechanics: 1st vs. 2nd price, how CMPs have empowered them, and their thoughts on what’s next for header bidding and identity.

How are traditional linear TV budgets migrating to addressable OTT environments?

You don’t have to be Bill Gates to come to the conclusion that the OTT (over the top) opportunity is going to big. It will be big for advertisers that struggle to reach the ‘cord cutter’ audiences who no longer sit in front of linear broadcasts, and it will be a huge revenue opportunity for streaming services like Netflix, should they finally decide to embrace the ad funded route. I also want to better understand how activation, measurement and identity are going to evolve in the OTT space, as many on the LUMAscape rush to conquer that territory.

How big is the audio opportunity?

Out of nowhere, audio programmatic has become big business (think Spotify and Pandora). Brands can now access this supply via direct sold or programmatic partnerships and it’s an area that often sits outside the challenges faced by digital display. As a result, audio programmatic is fast becoming an attractive canvas for marketers and their agencies.

There are still limitations when it comes to data-driven, impression-level buying that the buy side has to expect from programmatic execution. Because of this, I am keen to better understand how audio platforms are building to meet buyer requests in these areas.

Are there any real applications for blockchain in digital advertising yet?

There will be lots of debate at ATS about auction and fees transparency, and I think this year at DMEXCO, we will see a lot of vendors pushing the value of distributed ledgers via their blockchain offerings in order underpin, and address, some of the opaque practices that we have seen reported within the sector.

I’m interested to hear more about how blockchain can support contracts, gather opinions on the reconciliation process of digital advertising, chat about real-time bidding and if they feel speeds are quick enough in 2018.

How are big brands pulling programmatic activation in house?

I’m going to speak to brands who have pulled their programmatic activation in-house, or are planning to do so. I want to better understand their motivations for doing this, and find out how they are planning to manage areas like data and activation vendor selection, auction mechanics, and supply path optimization. I’m curious about the role consultancies may play in this scenario.

One thing is for sure, following the wave of ad and martech M&A we have already seen play out in 2018, the media noise around auction mechanics, publishers taking control post-GDPR, and with the noises made by the consultancies to enter (or invade) our sector, it’s going to be a great few days in Cologne. DMEXCO here we come!

If you are attending DMEXCO 2018 come and chat to us! Click here to book in a meeting slot.

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There was no place like Home at #dmexco2017. We transported our Future Home – designed to help marketers use the next generation of technology to meaningfully engage people in the connected home – from our London HQ to the two-day conference in Cologne, Germany, last week.

And it proved a real hit with delegates, eager to get a glimpse of the future of marketing. But for those who could not make it to the conference this year, we have put together a short video of the Unruly team assembling our eye-catching dmexco stand and talking to delegates throughout the two action-packed days.

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