By Matt Jones, Mobile Strategy Director, Manning Gottlieb OMD and Aman Mastana, International Account Manager, OMD
So once again the great and the good of the mobile industry descended on Barcelona for the annual Mobile World Congress. It’s testimony to the broadness of the term ‘mobile’ that there is such a wide and varied group of companies, from all over the world, packed into eight huge halls.
As expected, there’s a raft of mobile advertising companies competing for the attention of marketers, agencies and publishers. However, there are also hundreds of mobile hardware component companies, IoT providers and mobile infrastructure companies showcasing everything from the latest bendable screen technology to connected bikes and homes or the telephony infrastructure required to power a slick 5G rollout.
From day one, it was obvious that there a few key themes standing out:
The VR ad network called ‘Virtual Sky’ allows brands to launch VR style ads, almost like pre-roll ads in other VR experiences. For example, a consumer could take a quick 10-30 second virtual test drive before their VR gaming experience starts. This is interesting as brands have the opportunity to get more immersed in the level of richness that these VR experiences provide.
We also encountered Samsung’s 4D theatre, where viewers are equipped with Oculus headsets that react to the motions of the VR action. Judging by the cheers from participants this is certainly the new sought-after experience, but could it be the death of movie theatres as we know it?
Internet of Things (IoT)
As we seek to improve the ease and practicality of our surroundings, otherwise ordinary objects are becoming increasingly connected through the use of technology.
Up and coming smart cities – defined by the ability to use connected, technological solutions to manage their assets, improve sustainability, economic performance and quality of life – have adopted bigbelly bins. Not only are they used as Wi-Fi hotspots, they also double as solar-powered compacting rubbish bins. The multiple benefits here are obvious; they provide a useful, sustainable service to the community, blending seamlessly into the city landscape itself. What’s more, city officials are able to collect real-time data to inform waste management organisations, often saving money and resources. This too is funded by out-of-home advertising.
However, the IoT also extends to our homes. A company that caught our eye was an Israeli company called Kwik who provide an IoT button that has similar features to Amazon Dash. In short, they provide a branded physical button that integrates with a brands e-commerce and distribution platform. Imagine a button stuck to your desk, fridge or wall at home that when you press it – calls you an Uber or orders some new nappies, coffee pods, new makeup, etc. Unlike the Dash platform, Kwik enables you to do this outside of the Amazon eCom and distribution infrastructure.
Day 2 involves a tour of some of the most innovative start-ups exhibiting at the conference, so will update you after that!