CESSOCIALREPORT2011 | WWW.CESSOCIALREPORT.COMa report about social media and brandsat the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show
2 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.com 2,700 exhibitors came to display. 140,000 attendees came to see. 5,000 members of the media, bloggers and analysts came to publish. The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been a barometer of innovative trends and consumer demand since its inception in 1967. The 2011 CES, which took place between Jan. 6 through Jan. 9, was no different —this year, the world’s largest consumer technology trade show manifested an all-out collision between social behavior and consumer electronics. With over 158,000 CES-related tweets later, it’s clear that social media was used as a primary means of communication between attendees and exhibitors alike. The most exciting announcements from brands at the trade show were based on social technology or on socially- charged consumer behavior. This report will show how social media is impacting the way exhibitors exhibit, the way consumers consume, the way in uencers in uence and the way the successful achieve success.
3 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comWELCOME TO THE REPORT!Every year, CES takes over Las Vegas to do what the destination isbest at: dazzle visitors. The annual CES has become something of amarker of trends—a baseline for year-over-year realization of social CESshifts in our society. SOCIALThink about it— ve years ago at CES 2006, Facebook was still onlyavailable to high school and college students and Twitter had yet tobe invented. Over the years that I have attended CES, I have REPORT 2011 | WWW.CESSOCIALREPORT.COMwatched exhibitors, attendees and the conference itself growincreasingly immersed in the world of social media. Meanwhile, I’vewatched even the most basic products presented there become further information on the report’s website and request in-depthmore and more integrated with the social Internet. Unsurprisingly, at interviews when possible and we were happy to have many brandsCES 2011, social media played a bigger role than ever. In fact, take us up on our request of deeper insight.some of my team’s most exciting observations were about theadoption of socially-powered technology by consumer electronics Still, we’d love to hear what you thought of CES 2011 and thebrands—both in products and in the way they presented report … and since it is all about being social, we’d love to have athemselves at the trade show. conversation with you, so feel free to reach out to us on www.CESsocialreport.com. Additionally, if you or a brand youThe past year has made it clear that social media is here to stay— represent will be at a future CES, please let us know so we canand that it is a force that demands to be recognized by elds include you in our plans for 2012.ranging from politics to marketers to consumer electronicsmanufacturers. As an integrated marketing agency, communication We do hope you’ll enjoy and stay social with us until next year’sis the currency we deal with daily at Oxford Communications. In report!fact, that shift toward social media is fueling the strategy behind ourmost effective initiatives for clients both on and of ine. Yours Truly,The CES Social Report has been developed by my team at Oxfordto capture and catalogue our professional analysis of how the socialrevolution is affecting the strategies of exhibitors at CES. In the Ben Grossmanfollowing pages, you’ll see our take on what brands are doing in Communications Strategistresponse to the rise of social media at the world’s largest consumer Oxford Communicationstechnology trade show. The report is not intended to promote or e: firstname.lastname@example.org any brands or individuals. We did issue an open call for c: 602.741.0314
4 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comTHE 2011CES SOCIAL REPORTThe CES Social Report has been developed to capture and cataloguewhat brands are doing to energize the in uential social media socialitesat CES; how they are creating branded experiences worth talking about;and which trends set the tone at the International CES. In order todeliver that level of insight, our team was immersed in pre-show buzz inthe weeks leading up to the opening day, had our social listeningdashboards up constantly, attended several of the most in uentialparties hosted by exhibitors and tirelessly walked the trade show ooreach day of the 2011 CES. ALL IN THE INFLUENCE 80 percent of in uential impressions aboutHere, you will nd pro les of what we deemed to be the top 10 most consumer electronics are generated and distributedinteresting brands based on their response to the rise of social media, by 1.8 percent of online adults. This small fraction ofexamples and analysis of the top ve trends in social media and a look social media users is in uenced by a brain trust offorward of what we’re expecting to see at the 2012 CES in terms of high-powered opinion-makers who collect andsocial media’s impact on exhibitors and attendees. distribute facts, insights and news about the consumer electronics industry. Marketers are quickly realizing that opportunities to ef ciently reach the right people can unleash a tidal wave of earned media and in uence. Each year, over 5,000 members of the media and bloggers travel to Las Vegas to cover the product launches, announcements and futuristic experiences delivered at CES. These people are the super- in uencers who fuel the opinions behind the impressions spread during and after the show. They have personal connections with large numbers of people through social media, and their opinions are sought out by their friends and family at a rate 2.5 greater than the average online adult.
5 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.com WHAT WE SAW
6 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comWIRED MAGAZINE & AMDWired Magazine and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) joinedtogether to create one of the most impressively social presences atCES 2011 Their socially infused efforts were uni ed by the call toaction for attendees to ‘Make a Scene.’ The booth, armed withpowerful computers and tech experts, and its ‘Make a Scene’initiatives provided a plethora of opportunities for visitors to createcontent and easily share it across their social networks.One of the most compelling, shareable pieces of content generatedat CES 2011 were the YouTube videos that Wired Magazine andAMD facilitated. These videos were created as short accounts frombooth visitors of their CES experiences. After recording their videos,visitors were provided with a computer, software to edit andguidance from a team of tech experts. Then they were encouragedto upload their videos and share them with their social networks.The creators of the 10 videos with the most views at the end ofeach day were entered into a drawing for a computer.Another social activity we found at this booth was the opportunityto create a digital cover of Wired Magazine that featured a pictureof the booth visitor. This was accomplished using computers andcameras in the booth that were available to visitors andcomplimented by a full staff of tech experts.Each of these social objects gave visitors the chance to createsomething worth sharing, but then also provided avenues forbranded content to be shared in relatively organic ways. Gettingbranded objects out through the networks of booth visitors provedto be savvy and yields peer in uence impressions for these brandsacross a diverse audience.
7 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comKODAKAnother booth that had an abundance of social tie-ins was Kodak. With space dedicated for bloggers, special guests, a SCVNGR game,QR codes, signage that encouraged social actions, and shareable content galore and products that have built in social capabilities,Kodak’s ‘social-ness’ was almost excessive. Kodak deserves full-credit for capitalizing on many of these social opportunities effectively atCES 2011.Some efforts were highly engaging and led to meaningful plugs for the Kodak CES event across social networks. Notably, Kodakallowed visitors to play SCVNGR, a popular mobile social game, in a highly branded context. Playing the game, users were prompted todescribe how they de ne a Kodak moment with the option to share their response with their personal networks. We spoke withmembers of the social team at Kodak and they were very open about the fact that to be a leader in social spaces, you have to engage insome experiments, and this year SCVNGR was just that for Kodak.Kodak has also continued to introduce products that feature a ‘share’ button. This button uses built-in technology to allow users to sharetheir pictures across the social network of their choice right from the camera. After recognizing that consumers share photos across theirsocial networks at staggering rates, Kodak built products that streamline the process. Doing so has allowed Kodak to make its productsmore relevant... and, in the process, developed a key differentiator for the brand. Photo Credit: Kodak Blog Photo Credit: Kodak Blog
8 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comAMERICAN EXPRESS | OPEN FORUM American Express brought their OPEN Forum campaign to CES in a big way. At their booth, OPEN Forum hosted notable speakers who discussed business trends and how technology is impacting business strategies. Among these speakers was social media superstars Chris Brogan and Guy Kawasaki. The OPEN Forum has a history of tapping into top in uencers for content in their small business community, and we were impressed by this extension of that philosophy for the trade show environment. We stopped by the booth to catch Chris Brogan’s presentation, and in addition to speaking about ways that business has changed in the 21st century and plugging AmEx OPEN Forum, Brogan made an effort to show the opportunity that our new digital behaviors pose for businesses. He covered topics ranging from nding complaints on Twitter to customizing websites, to the importance of an organization’s email database. Brogan challenged those present to assess if their (or their brand’s) practices were in- line with consumers’ everyday behaviors. Before Brogan got to CES, he was publicizing his presence and in turn AmEx. These in uencer’s activity make it clear that AmEx’s decision to employ experts like Brogan was a smart move. They have some of the largest, most enraptured and powerful networks on the social web. By enlisting their valuable expertise on topics, AmEx also got immediate exposure and impressions among Brogan and other’s substantial networks.
9 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comMICROVISIONHow can a brand capitalize on a product that is inherently shareable without a fullbooth of its own at CES? It can go guerilla. That’s right; guerilla marketing is notjust for the streets of New York City, it is also welcomed in the hallways of 2011CES.Microvison, a laser projector that pairs with Apple iOS devices, was one of thoseproducts and may just have been the best example of how to have a booth-freepresence at CES. The Microvision crew, conscious of the regulations of the tradeshow, were using the product themselves and happy to engage in a discussionwith attendees that were curious.When we stopped by to meet them in a dark hall behind a booth, they showedus how their product could be used in a gaming situation and invited us to plugone of our devices into their product to project something of our choice. Inaddition to using their product and showcasing its capabilities, the Microvisioncrew offered anyone willing to tweet that they were seeing the product at CES a$10 iTunes gift card. Sample tweet by one of this report’s authors.
10 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comGRIFFINFor the second year in a row, Grif n has enjoyed success in social spaces leading up to CES. Grif n has shown an ability to assembleshare-worthy ideas and activate social media presences to distribute their content far and wide. Last year, prior to the CES 2010, Grif ncreated a series of YouTube videos about members of their company road tripping to Las Vegas in a restored Volkswagen Van.This year, Grif n shared a slide deck through SlideShare.net that gave 25 tips for those attending CES. Grif n initiated the spread byseeding this content on Facebook, Twitter and other corners of the web. This content capitalized on a real need that existed within theCES community. Grif n also shared CES 2011 by tweeting live updates as its booth was assembled through a branded Twitter handle.This strategy created an af nity for the booth, and generated a desire among followers to see the booth in real life during the show.Engaging attendees before the show, while they are planning their activities, has proven to be an effective way to handle the inevitablebandwidth issues that arise during the show. After all, Grif n did claim this year’s iLounge.com’s Best of Show 2011. That said, the boothlacked speci c call outs to join, connect, follow or share any aspect of the show experience through social media.
11 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comRCA & AUDIOVOXRCA and Audiovox (its parent company) sawCES as an opportunity grow the fan bases oftheir brands and to share meaningful contentwith their existing online connections. Throughcoordinated efforts, these two brands usedcustom tabs and a specialized set of pro leimages to draw awareness to their presences atCES as the show approached. The FacebookPages featured a series of pro le pictures thatcounted down the days to CES. This coupled itterwith effective management, engaging content on Twand some holiday gift buzz allowed the RCA oopPage to enjoy some rapid growth prior to 2011 A_ScCES. it: RC CredBecause of this success, there was some pressattention paid to how these brands were using o Photsocial media ahead of the show, and a companyrepresentative was quoted in a Los AngelesTimes blog, saying, “This year at CES we willplace a signi cant focus on our RCA andAudiovox Facebook and Twitter presences. Ourmain goal is to build up our fan base. Not just tohit a certain number, but to have a large group tobe able to reach out to with new products, fangiveaways, contests and focus groups.”During the show, Audiovox equipped models onthe oor with iPads and sought out Facebookfans and Twitter followers on the spot. In additionto this, there were call outs in the booth onstanchions for attendees to ‘like’ the brands onFacebook and follow on Twitter.
12 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comSKULLCANDYAt this year’s lifestyle-centric Skullcandy exhibit, members of the general public could take free branded items, listen to DJs mixingmusic, watch artists generating street art and play a ‘Plinko’ style game (for those Price Is Right fans out there) for a chance to winSkullcandy products. Lifestyle engagement was about all the average attendee got from Skullcandy at CES 2011. Invited journalists,however, were invited to a private area to see Skullcandy products and announcements. Despite the lack of publicly available for producton display, Skullcandy had an extremely successful and crowed booth. Why? They capitalized on the social nature of lifestyle marketingand appointment dynamics.Branding through lifestyle, while sometimes expensive (paying for guest DJs and artists), can certainly make your brand, event or boothworth talking about. Skullcandy further capitalized on this draw by creating scarcity and demand for the different aspects of its booth.The company had DJs spinning at speci c times and ran certain activities to coincide with these events. This created a heightened senseof interest in the booth. If an attendee showed up to see something speci c, he/she likely showed up at a time when many other peoplewere there too. This made the booth feel like a real event in and of itself.
13 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comPOLAROID One of the old tricks of the trade for marketers is borrowed interest. Polaroid is seeking to capitalize on the FAME Monster of Lady Gaga to rejuvenate its brand. At last year’s CES, Lady Gaga was named Creative Director and Inventor of Specialty Products, causing quite the media stir. This year, it was time to show the yield of this partnership. Polaroid and Lady Gaga didn’t disappoint. The line of products, called Polaroid Grey Label, claims to represent the simple, but cutting-edge aspect of the brand. With the compelling booth that Polaroid had and some well-executed literature, Polaroid created a very sharable experience. Layer on top of that Lady Gaga’s second annual appearance at the booth, and Polaroid had a swarm of attendees, media and fans alike, two hours in advance of the appearance. The camera submersed in a tank with live sh certainly warranted an MMS home. Whether it warranted the ght with AT&T’s over-burdened network the weekend of CES is a whole separate question.
14 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comCONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOWThe Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) – which hosts CES, has madea concerted effort to capitalize on the social nature of the attendees at theworld’s largest trade show. CES is no longer just a chance for Foursquareusers to get their Super Swarm (or this year, Super-Duper Swam) badges.This year attendees could earn a special CES-branded badge in additionto multitude of other opportunities to share their CES 2011 experiences.CES is aiming to give attendees plenary ways to connect through socialmedia–not only with the exhibitors at CES, but also with the conferenceitself. This year, CES had covered all its bases with presences on Facebookand Twitter (@intlCES), blogs at Digital Dialogue, a partnership withFoursquare and a mobile application for all major devices.The Facebook and Twitter presences have garnered respectablefollowings, and each are actively used by CES to plug events, exhibitorsand up-to-the-minute news. This year, CES also had an of cial TweetUp,to which all CES-goers were invited to join in on at the SpaceQuestLounge on Friday, Jan. 7. Between the burlesque dancers in the middle ofthe venue, giveaways and a Twitter stream lled with tweets attempting tograb the attention of those at the TweetUp made for a rather unful llingexperience.One of the ways that CES had hoped to organize the social happenings atthe trade show was through an interactive site called the CES SocialCircle. The site was designed to show recent mentions of CES-relatedtopics across social networks. The site featured recent tweets, Facebookposts, press by key in uencers and mentions based on location. Thoughwe admired the effort, we ultimately felt the CES Social Circle lackedrecognition of how the social elite behave. The online social elite is theworld’s best self-organizing crowd. Providing the CES Social Circle for thiscrowd is akin to having assigned seating at your local Starbucks. We canonly assume the CES Social Circle was more popular with social mediabeginners following from afar than it was for in uential power users.
15 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comINTEL Intel, the chip manufacturer and perennial CES case study had a booth that earned signi cant attention. With a visit from the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, a Facebook-streamed press conference, high volume of posts on Twitter and more than 1,343 check-ins, Intel was not only present on social media, but reaping the rewards of highly in uential attendees. Though Intel was not the only brand to stream a press conference via Facebook, the brand did provide fans following CES from afar the opportunity to stay engaged. Intel’s Facebook community was hyper-engaged in the live-streaming event and the brand was also heavily talked about on Twitter, claiming to be the 10th most mentioned handle for CES related tweets. In addition to all this activity, Intel created a custom app that tracked check-ins across Foursquare, Facebook Places and Gowalla for all the brands at CES. Across these platforms, there were 10,133 check-ins to branded booths at CES, with BlackBerry (2,422 check-ins), Sony (1,573 check-ins) and Intel Photo Credit: Intel Blog (1,343 check-ins). NBC Universal was a distant fourth with 353 check-ins. Intel’s Social Media Strategist, Brian Rhoads, succinctly expressed the opportunity that exists for brands in social media at CES 2011: “Social media builds awareness for Intel, builds community and connects us to users wherever they are, in the medium of their choice,” said Rhoads. “It’s expanding Intel’s voice everywhere.” We agree with Rhoads because expanded voice and connecting with users on their terms is what social media at CES should be focused on.
16 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.com WHAT WE OBSERVED
17 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.com2011 CES TRENDSWhat’s changed always tends to be a main area of interestwhenever we attend CES. Here, we’ve set out to document someof the shifts we’re seen in brands’ presences as a result of thecontinued rise and evolution of social media. This year, we’veselected ve major trends: 1. Inviting In uencers In: Instead of trying to grab in uencers’ attention as they walk by booths on the trade show oor, brands have begun inviting in uencers to set- up shop broadcasting within their exhibits. 2. Social Check-box: While some brands reached out to online audiences through social media in 2011, others checked that box off the list with rather simple social media activities, showing that brands know they need to be in the space, but aren’t yet sure how. 3. Interdependence of Social Media and Technology: Social media doesn’t only act as a marketing tool for brands at CES. Many brands have begun introducing products or service offerings that are powered or inspired by social media. 4. Exhibiting Without An Exhibit: In a world where brands can build audiences and communicate with attendees on the y, they also no longer have to stay on the trade show oor. Several brands broke away from a traditional exhibit to meet in uencers elsewhere. 5. The Proper Party: CES 2011 featured over 35 known (and many more unknown) parties. Some resulted in quality conversations about the host brands, while others just resulted in liquored attendees.
18 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comINVITING INFLUENCERS INBrands spend much of their time at CES trying to get in uencers’ attention by greeting them once at their booths, inviting them to theright parties and making sure they don’t get too close to un-media trained product engineers. Some especially savvy brands arebeginning to realize that’s yesterday’s way of relating to in uencers who are increasingly asking, “what’s in it for me?”This year, we were highly impressed with NBC Universal and Kodak’s efforts to invite in uencers to become part of their booths. NBCUniversal gave bloggers, podcasters and online in uencers a home base, The Hub. These in uencers were given time slots to use NBCUniversal’s space throughout the show right next to the international professional broadcasting studio, where each in uencer had theirown set, Internet hookup and power sources. Kodak created the Blogger-Zone as part of its K-Zone, a section of their booth whereKodak featured its chief blogger, and invited The Pulse Network, a social media content producing startup, to interview thought leadersand produce live content.The best part? Not only did these brands draw important in uencers in to cover their booth, but the invited guests had their ownin uential guests come to be interviewed under the auspices of the host brand. In fact, we caught Chris Brogan being interviewed at theKodak booth shortly after his presentation at the American Express OPEN Forum booth.In short, both brands set out to develop relationships with in uencers ahead of time and found meaningful ways to provide true value tothe in uencers they wished to reach. While the in uencers were welcomed to broadcast (and tweet) whatever they wanted from thebooths, they always made sure to cover - and thank - their hosts.
19 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comSOCIAL CHECK-BOX As social media has gone mainstream and so have consumers’ expectations that companies will have an active presence on some of the key social media sites—like Facebook and Twitter. That expectation seems to spill over to brands attendees at CES. But there’s a key difference between having meaningful, result-driving social media strategy embedded within a company’s presence at the trade show and simply being able to check a box off a list of requisite components of an exhibit. While many brands went well above and beyond checking a box, some brands chose to keep it relatively low key when it came to social media, while others featured no visible mention at all. JVC’s booth featured an uncharacteristically last-minute-looking 8.5”x11” sign on its welcome counter inviting visitors to “stay connected” with the company. Blackberry featured a rotating graphic on its big screen simply providing users with the requisite information to visit its Twitter presence, Facebook Page and blog. Victorinox put up an easel with a call-out to check-in on Foursquare and follow the brand on Twitter, as well as a loose tie to a “crack the code” contest. Our take-away from these brands was that it was great that they are trying to get involved, but ultimately need to focus further on the value proposition their social media presence is offering up to attendees. Still more interesting was the impact consumer adoption of social media had on the way brands talk about themselves. We noticed a slew of brand tag lines that directly referenced a more connected and social consumer. GE’s ecomagination section touted the brand’s role in “empowering the connected consumer.” One of RCA’s newest products touted the its bene t to a connected consumer: “Never be left powerless.” The side of Kenmore’s booth featured a direct reference to the size of its social media following. Kenmore’s brand is on the cutting edge of the social media revolution- breaking new ground as the largest appliance brand on Facebook. In our estimation, size isn’t all that matters, but we like the zeal!
20 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comINTERDEPENDENCE: SOCIAL MEDIA & CONSUMER ELECTRONICSOne of the trends that goes well outside the traditional bounds of marketing with social mediais the impact that social has had on business decisions and product development. At CES, wewere interested to see social-driven features incorporated into products as well as heavyinvestment in social technologies by brands in areas outside their standard wheelhouse. Theseshifts that have begun surfacing over the past year prove how convergent social technologyand consumer electronics will be in the years to come.Last year, at CES 2010, Polaroid announced its partnership with the highly in uential (and socialmedia savvy) Lady Gaga, by which the recording artist and pop culture personality will act asthe company’s creative director. At this year’s show, Lady Gaga made her second appearanceto announce some of the products that have been the yield of that relationship. Polaroid’s newGrey Label collection, designed by the Haus of Gaga, trumpets the products’ inherent tie tosocial media in literature about the line: “Every Polaroid Grey Label product was designed withthe idea that creativity and sharing go hand in hand, in both the digital and physical world.After all, where’s the fun in creating something amazing and keeping it to yourself.”Qualcomm featured an entire side of its booth labeled “Social Networking.” Comprised ofseveral socially-oriented concepts, the two that caught our attention were Vive and Skoot. Viveis a platform that operates as a start-up within Qualcomm as a result of a group of employeeswinning an innovation contest. This online application hooks into social networks like Facebookin order to help people nd mobile applications that their friends like no matter what devicethe user’s friend owns. Skoot is a mobile application that is white-labeled to cell phone carrierslike Verizon and comes standard on new phones. The white-labeled application allows cellphone owners to use one application to navigate all of his social networks within oneapplication. Carriers are incentivized to license the technology from Qualcomm, because itprioritizes communication with the mobile network to conserve the phone’s battery and thebandwidth of the wireless towers. Skoot was acquired by Qualcomm after originating as aprivate start-up.Keep an eye out for companies to continue to make social features standard in their productsgoing forward. Once limited to cell phone makers, increasing consumer demand is resulting inpressure on manufacturers of devices ranging from cameras to appliances to include socialrelevancy.
21 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comEXHIBITING WITHOUT AN EXHIBITWith over 2,700 exhibitors at CES 2011, it’s easy tounderstand why some brands fear they’ll be lost in asea of branded set-ups. This year, we noticed a majorin ux of brands opting to exhibit at CES outside of atraditional booth space on the trade show oor.Whether they leveraged show oor-based guerrillademos, outdoor street teams and models or off-sitesuites, brands big and small made a splash at CESwithout paying top dollar for oor space (which goesfor $41 a sq. foot). Our favorite example of a brandexhibiting without an exhibit was MicroVision, aRedmond, Wash. based technology company that offers display and imaging products for mobile devices. The company initiated buzzaround its CES appearance ahead of time by trumpeting the fact that brand representatives would be holding impromptu RAGE HDmatches in the darker areas behind exhibits on the trade show oor. To participate, attendees were encouraged to follow MicroVision onTwitter (@microvision) to nd out where they could nd the brand’s team and play for a chance to rank as one of the day’s top ve scorersto win their very own SHOWWX+ projector. When we ran into the team, they were also offering attendees $10 iTunes gift cards fortweeting their thoughts about the demoed product on the spot.Intel’s team took to the streets outside the Las Vegas Convention Center to hand out rather ponderous books to the masses. While thebrand certainly had a major presence on the trade show oor, at the height of registration madness, Intel jumped ahead in attendees’psyches by giving them their rst giveaways and putting the Intel booth number in their hands immediately. While Brother International Corporation’s embroidery crew did have a presence at the North Hall, buyers interested in Brother’s inkjet and laser printers had to look beyond the grounds of CES 2011 to meet Brother’s team. While the brand’s printer products were absent from the trade show oor, Brother rented out the Playboy suite at The Palms casino to host a luxe experience for invited guests. Engaging with attendees in the halls and grounds of CES forces brands to manage a ne line. But it can pay huge dividends. As the hubbub on the CES oor only continues to grow with the advent of 3-D TV, increasingly popular celebrity appearances and TVs the size of houses with the depth of credit cards, we expect to continue to see brands stepping out of their booths to create more unique and differentiating experiences for attendees.
22 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comTHE PROPER PARTYEarly in the 20th century, American comedian Fred Allen de ned a cocktail party as, “a gathering held to enable forty people to talkabout themselves at the same time. The man who remains after the liquor is gone is the host.” While Allen may have been of a differentgeneration and parties at CES often exceed a forty-person head-count, he pinpointed a challenge that party hosts at CES still face today.Because attendees at in uencer parties often have their own agendas and personal interests, how can brands allow them to talk aboutthemselves, while also in uencing conversations (in-person and online) to center around the purpose of the party? At CES 2011, therewere over 35 known (and many more unknown) parties planned by brands. While some kept their products and messages front andcenter, others just served to support Allen’s sardonic supposition about parties.Nissan made a big splash at CES 2011 to publicize the launch of the new LEAF, billed as the world’s rst affordable, all electric vehicleavailable on the mass market. While the automobile’s presence at the show extended far beyond the rst day, Nissan hosted a launchparty at Little Buddha in The Palms hotel. Over the course of the night, a few hundred attendees and around 50 media folks stopped by,but we were left wondering if there was a way Nissan could have gone beyond generating awareness of its product to engage attendeeswith product attributes while at the party.Instead, attendees engaged mostly in exploring the attributes of a free bar and Michael Jackson-obsessed dance oor (with occasionalappearances by a giant Nissan polar bear). Partner brands, including Microsoft’s Windows Embedded technology did make appearancesat the party through coasters and literature on bar tops, but the event missed the opportunity to have attendees chatting about theLEAF, rather than the party itself. The one thing that will always stick with us? These bizarre hired interactive dancers that Nissan hadcloaked in gauzy botanical dresses.
23 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comTHE PROPER PARTY (continued)One of the most successful parties at CES for the past few years has been Lenovo’s Blogger Lounge. Hosted at Aquaknox in TheVenetian, Rebecca Welles, graphic designer on Lenovo’s corporate identity team brings the brand to life through a meticulous andimpressive showcase that takes over this high-end restaurant. The photos alone show how beautiful this invite-only event is, but we’realso consistently impressed with the simple number of conversation-worthy occurrences at the party every year. This year, Lenovopartnered with the Social Media Club to allow in uencers to request a spot on the guest list.On the night of the festivity, attendees were greeted by brightly-colored and gripping product displays, complete with screens showingthe most recent activity across social networks about the party and products. An open bar, DJ, acoustic performance by popular band(and viral video masters) OK Go and a stand-out ThinkLab (laboratory featuring torture tests on Lenovo products) all entertained andexcited in uencers to stick around and publicize the happenings at the party. Knowledgeable and sociable brand representatives werestrategically placed around well-executed displays to talk attendees through product offerings, announcements and contests.We’re expecting brands to become better at connecting people (including their own representatives) in the esh by allowing attendeesto plan in-person meet-ups based on pre-party social media contact. Finally, keep an eye out for companies (like Lenovo) becoming moresavvy creators of in-person social experiences that translate more seamlessly into social experiences online.
24 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.com WHAT WE LEARNED
25 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.com 6 LESSONS LEARNED FROM CES 20111. Be Generous: 3. Be Experimental: 5. Be Timely:Give people a reason to mention you, Just like Kodak’s use of SCVNGR at 2011 We are all familiar with the phrase, ‘be ineven if it is compelling sharable content CES, brands looking to take the lead in the right place at the right time.’ But canor a space in your booth where bloggers conversations about exhibitors will need you engineer what is the right time forcan write and recharge. If you can give to be prepared to experiment. Try new speci c people to be at your CES booth?something of value to in uencers, they platforms, widgets and applications Yes, you sure can and Skullcandyare likely to mention your brand. Getting routinely. As with all efforts, seizing provided an excellent example this year.mentioned leads to awareness of your opportunities and growing will always be Through appointment dynamics, you canbrand’s CES presence and can create a the result of trying new, and sometimes create the need for certain audiences tomeaningful platform to share your scary, things. be at your booth at certain times. Thismessages. can allow you to know when you will be 4. Be Proactive: busy and when speci c types of guests2. Be Sharable: Capitalize on the ability to create content, will be more likely to stop by.Being generous and providing motivation connections and conversations prior toto share is one thing, but prompting and the start of the show. Build pre-show buzz 6. Be Brilliant:enabling sharing is what gets word to with compelling updates or valuable Being at the world’s largest consumertravel. Do you prompt people to connect information like Grif n. Start electronics trade show puts you on anwith you in social spaces? Do you conversations with folks before they make excellent stage to share your messageencourage visitors to share their it to show oor and make sure they are with the world, but it is a very crowdedexperiences? Do you suggest sharable planning to visit your booth. Finally, stage indeed. How will you stand out?items that people will be inclined to create strategic content that is ready to Brilliant strategies, tactics and executionshare? be posted, or can be scheduled to post always cut through the clutter. Seek an while you are busy with booth attendees. innovative partner who can bring outside perspective and illuminate opportunities to differentiate your brand.
26 | 2011 CES SOCIAL REPORT oxfordcommunications.comOXFORD COMMUNICATIONSWe are the full-service marketing, creative andcommunications agency that issues one call toour clients and employees alike: Be Brilliant.That call echoes through our agency’s work that ranges the full gamut of integrated services, including account planning, socialmedia, interactive, public relations and trade show experience design. Ultimately, our services are built to leverage a combination ofonline and of ine initiatives that generate in uence when, where and how it matters to consumers most.Oxford has a track record of bringing category re-de ning work to brands in a diverse set of industries, ranging from fashion retail, toconsumer electronics, to quick service restaurants, to healthcare organizations. As a result, we are proud to have worked with someof the biggest names in the industries we work in, like Audiovox Corporation, Bombardier, Prime Retail and Brother International, aswell as many other dominant regional and niche players. GET SOCIAL WITH US, BEN GROSSMAN Communications Strategist WON’T YOU? c: 602.741.0314 | o: 609.397.4242 x174 For more information, e: email@example.com please contact one of the t: @BenGrossman report authors: CHRISTOPHER STEMBOROWSKI Associate Communications Strategist c: 980.253.7164 | o: 609.397.4242 x172 e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: @cjstem
CESSOCIALREPORT2011 | WWW.CESSOCIALREPORT.COMa report about social media and brandsat the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show
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