The Future Of Advertising May Already Be In Your Living Room

Written by Lauren DeLisa Coleman


The Hamptons is known for its luxury real estate and forward-thinking residents, so Ad Age magazine and the Internet of Things Consortium (IoTc) could not have selected a better location for a half-day discussion around the future of smart homes.

Both Josh Golden, publisher of Ad Age and Greg Kahn, president and CEO of IoTc, hosted a series of panel discussions that was held after a garden lunch.  Panel topics included the “Future of the Living Room,” “Health, Wellness and Tech,” and “Voice Activation.”  The intimate event of less than 100 attendees was designed so that various influencers could network with each other while obtaining insights in this hot convergence space.  Panelists from such power players as Google, Samsung, Comcast, Peloton and more provided a rare look at progression-to-date in the industry as well as future challenges.

smart speaker
In this June 14, 2018, photo an Amazon Echo is displayed in New York. Big banks and financial companies have started to offer banking through virtual assistants, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant, in a way that will allow customers to check their balances, pay bills and, in the near future, send money just with their voice. Regional banking giant U.S. Bank is the first bank to be on all three services, Alexa, Siri and Assistant. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Naturally any and everything around voice is seen as a hot new business opportunity. In terms of behavior, Samsung noted that most voice-activated devices are still kept in the kitchen area so that they are convenient for food deliveries. However, the real opportunity, especially for urban talent, was noted from an executive from Turner who said the company sees the advertising opportunity around voice devices in an expanded way which includes talent and content associated with the Turner brand.

For example, the executive noted that there is a huge opportunity for celebrities such as Conan O’Brien to promote his own tour in his own voice via such devices. And it is certainly not hard to imagine other talent outside of the Turner Brand from Wu-Tang Clan to Will Smith promoting their 25th-anniversary tour dates to the latest starring role in a feature film.

The real question will be who is first to market on such opportunities, how they will be positioned and who will be responsible for such avenues for players who may be significant but outside of the domain of corporate “property” when it comes to urban talent and businesses who may collaborate with that talent.

No matter what route it all takes, the power of personalization that such devices will offer will be a key move in the advertising and sales game. However, equally daunting will be the delicate handling and managing of massive amounts of data gathered from one’s specific choices and buying patterns over time, to say nothing of the potential hacks through connected devices inside one’s home that could present an entirely new level of disruption, fear and worry.

Should such labyrinths be successfully negotiated, this area could be a golden ticket with the Fourth Industrial Revolution through which we are all living. Winners will monitor trends in the space closely and network well via such groups as the IoTc, given that partnerships are so very vital to the smart home space.

To see such accomplishments in action is inspiring. Indeed, an added bonus to the event was a number of companies that created specific installations at various locations on the property as a showcase of their offerings in the IoT space.  Brands such as Porsche displayed several of their electric cars which are complete with voice activation and more. The IoT space is clearly one to watch.