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ARF @ CES 2016

Day One Highlights

The ARF @ CES: Where’s the Future Going Next

What a Day 1 for The ARF at CES! Bringing CES to your desktop. Throughout the week Gayle Fuguitt, our CEO & President will be interviewing key thought leaders and capturing their key predictions, strategies, and newest news announced here at CES.

We began streaming live at 9a PT from CBS Vision’s Television City research facility.


We began streaming live from CBS Vision’s Television City research facility and almost a quarter of a million folks joined us remotely.

The Future is Now!

David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer, CBS Corporation, President, CBS Vision started us off by declaring “the fact is there are no breakthrough technologies on the forefront” (fighting words at CES), because those technologies are already with us today.

Key for industry success is addressing the question — how are people using media today and how is it changing their lives? CBS Vision employs a unique “interactive focus group” methodology to understand this and they have just passed listening to their one millionth responder.

David shared highlights from literally just completed study of almost 500 interviews, 93% of consumers are reporting that their media habits have changed “a great deal” or significantly with 85% saying their habits changed a great deal.

  • But importantly those changes are attributed primarily to 2010-2013.
  • Looking at 2014-2015, consumers report on 4-6% change in their media consumption.

That’s because for the “connected consumer” penetration of HD TV, smartphones, DVD, PC with Internet, gaming consoles, tablets are near or significantly over 50% penetration. All these technologies have been with us since 2010. People are just settling into their habits of they use them.

View Day One Webcast



Keith Weed, Chief Marketing Officer and Stan Sthanunathan, SVP, Consumer & Market Insights of Unilever architecting the future of the best in CMO and CRO partnerships.

We listened as Keith described the power of marketing and building brands demands combining

  • Creativity and Effectiveness
  • Art and Science
  • Magic and Logic

Stan added that this is playing out more than ever in today’s world mandating knowing both data and implications. Not just being a mathematician knowing numbers but explaining how to apply those findings.

Not Just Insight But Foresight

The driving philosophy behind their unique partnership is Keith Weed recognizing that Unilever is a “CONSUMER Goods Company”. Consumer is in the title and Unilever’s products have to improve consumers’ lives and serve them better. Plus

if your goal is future growth, how do you get there without a view of the future and in fact a point of view on the future?

For Keith, understanding consumers better than their competition is THE competitive advantage and not wholly integrating your insights leader with your leadership team is “madness”. These are cornerstone findings of the Unilever supported Insights2020 study findings on best in class research leadership and organizational structures.

Stan weighed in from the researcher perspective, the days of “asking for a seat    at the table” are over. He challenged us all to step up and add value. If a  researcher is ever even asked about the ROI of research or the ROI of the research function . . . it’s already too late.

If you’re adding value every day, you will be valued.   Insights teams need to take on the responsibility of bringing the consumer to the table and understanding not where the Brand has been but where it needs to go.

Context Is Becoming More Important Than Content


Jeffrey Rossi, Global Director of Business Marketing, Spotify discussed their unique insights on music’s connection to behaviors and that the best predictor of human behavior is human behavior.  They see over 500K “shower” playlists and over 500K “coffee playlists”.  People naming their song groupings not by music genre but by
activity and mood:  “chill” playlist, “workout” playlist, “happy hour” playlist.

We were most fascinated by their coffee playlist story which can be applied to all media.  Recognizing not just the “what’s next to your ad” but why were consumers watching that content in the first place and what’s their mood/state of mind?

Specifically, Spotify saw an uptick in “coffee” playlist usage from 2:00p-4:00p as people got caffeine fix for the afternoon.  However, Spotify’s partner Dunkin Donuts was not seeing their foot traffic build during the afternoon coffee rush.  Spotify and DD were able to design a sampling, couponing and music promotion in NYC, LA, Chi, Bos and Philly based on data and context and drove traffic and incremental sales!

So, do you know both the “who” and “when” and context of your messages? Knowing people not just their cookies.  While the embedded pixel can capture a morning workout enthusiast and an afternoon happy hour devotee.  They may be the same person but to message effectively you need to know when they’re in the protein bar mindset and when in beer mode.

Importance Of Owning Your Personal Data


Warren Kay, VP of Advertising for Under Armour activated these same principles as a part of Under Armour’s 2016 CES announcement . . .

Specifically, at 7:00am Under Armour announced to CES the Under Armour Healthbox and they shared it with The ARF just hours later. The Under Armour Healthbox — a new fitness system that includes three new devices and they shared it with The ARF at : a fitness band, heart-rate monitor, and a smart scale all connected via Under Armour’s Record app, which offers detailed workout routines, health insights, and other information to help users who want to be healthier.

What’s cool is the system employs your own personal data proactively to help implement changes. Allowing us all to better manage our health and fitness, whether we’re a high performance athlete or just committed to improving our well-being.

How it works. The fitness band, named the UA Band, is an all-day fitness device that tracks daily activity, workouts, and sleep; the UA Heart Rate helps monitor heart rate while training and tracks the amount of calories burnt during training sessions; the connected scale can measure weight and body fat percentage. So applied, integrated learnings can be:

  • “You haven’t slept well the past two nights. Sleeping in will be more helpful than another early training run.”
  • “You’ve enjoyed the Holidays and had a lot of great food over the past two weeks, but now it’s time to up the training routine.”

But more important than just the connected fitness space, Warren sees 2016 as a year when consumers are going to pass the tipping point in understanding the importance of managing their own data. Not just tracking the data but doing something with it to live a better and healthier life.

Deliver What You Want Before You Ask


Context was also central when Jeremy Lockhorn, VP Emerging Media & Mobile from Razorfish shared his prediction for 2016.

Jeremy discussed growth in the importance of context.  For example your mobile device knows your habits and interests.  It knows where you are.  It knows what time of day it is.  And applications like Google Now can see you have an airline flight departure on you Google Calendar.  Google Maps can know the traffic from where you are to the airport and can ping you an alert to leave in next :10 minutes.  A proactive push from your phone.

Android Marshmallow and OS 9 will have built in features that will significantly raise consumer expectations on “their device’s ability to provide them contextually relevant information” not just on demand but preemptively.

To wrap us up, Jeremy quoted Mad Man era advertiser Howard Gossage, “the Socrates of San Francisco” who said

“The real fact of the matter is that nobody reads ads. People
read what interests them, and sometimes it’s an ad.”

That’s the opportunity today, providing context so relevant and so valuable, it’s not an ad.  It’s an experience.  It’s content itself.