Consider this: You are at a beach party and desperately need a refill of your drink before your favourite disk jockey arrives. The container that has your drink has a device fitted at the bottom that allows you to alert the bartender some distance away. He notes down your request visible on his desktop at the bar counter and proceeds to prepare your drink. The desktop software that has taken your request also has a global positioning system that allows the bartender to locate precisely where you are on the beach. You have your drink in the nick of time.
This is not a scene from a science fiction film, but an on-ground initiative recently undertaken by liquor brand Malibu Rum for its consumers at a beach-side resort.
The agency that executed the campaign — London-based SharpEnd — says that the future of advertising and media will increasingly be about how brands engage with connected devices, given the convergence around.
"The role of brands is shifting," said Cameron Worth, SharpEnd's founder, an agency dedicated to helping brands navigate the Internet of Things (IoT). Worth was speaking on the second day of the Goafest, the annual advertising, marketing and media festival, which is currently on in the western Indian state.
IoT is the network of physical devices embedded with electronics that allows them to connect and exchange data.
Most experts believe that IoT much like artificial intelligence and robotics has ushered the third age of the web. Where there is "context to the conversation" allowing marketers to understand what drives a consumer, his needs, desires and wants.
"If the first age of the web allowed brands to push out their message on a new platform, away from traditional media. The second age of the web saw brands engage in a two-way communication with consumers. The third age will be led by technological innovations in packaging, products and retail spaces," Worth added.
But the most interesting picture of what the future held for advertising was presented by Dean Donaldson and Jonathan Tavss of Kaleidoko, global brand consultants, who assist companies with their digital strategies.
On Friday, Donaldson and Tavss, who had flown in from the UK and US respectively, said that the use of blockchain and artificial intelligence would increase brand customisation. They also said that the growing interest in genetics would take personalisation (and therefore advertising) to a new level.
"If social media has allowed us to connect with our friends, what genetics-based or geno-targeting would do was help us connect with our families. Having knowledge of people in the wider world sharing the same gene pool that we do, takes personalisation to a different plane, presenting an opportunity for brands to step in," Donaldson said.
That life is increasingly getting connected and dictated by devices will mean that there will be data leaks, Tavss said, harking back to the recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scam that has put the social media giant under government, investor and consumer scrutiny.
Tavss also highlighted the issue of fake news, which is roiling governments and media across the world. A recent directive by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in India, for instance, had to be withdrawn because of wide-spread criticism from media organisations on the subject.
Tavss said that people in general loved watching videos, fueling the menace of fake news. Video, for the record, remains amongst the fastest-growing segments in digital advertising and marketing in India and the globe.
"We all love watching videos and no one checks the veracity of the content that is playing. So the danger that videos could be doctored easily and pushed as a real video is enormous," he said.
Social Street, Star India key winners on day two
The Creative Abby Awards kicked off on Friday at the Goafest with agencies such as Social Street, led by adman Pratap Bose, and broadcaster Star India emerging as key winners of the evening.
Awards for categories such as broadcaster, public relations, still craft, video craft, design and direct were declared on Friday. Some of the other important categories such as print and television advertising will be declared on Saturday.
While Sony Pictures Networks was the 'Broadcaster of the Year' with two bronze and four silver metals. Star India took home four bronze and one silver in the category. But the latter (Star) also bagged a silver in design, a bronze and a gold in direct marketing, taking its overall tally to 38 points on Friday.
A gold metal fetches eight points, silver metal fetches six points and bronze metal fetches four points. Metals is industry parlance for awards.
Social Street, on the other hand, took home a gold, a silver and a bronze respectively in design, a bronze in direct marketing, a bronze and a gold in public relations and two silvers and two golds in still craft. The agency's total tally was 62 points at the end of the evening.
Dentsu Webchutney, which was the second leading agency after Lodestar UM during the Media Abbys on Thursday, bagged two bronze and a silver in direct marketing and a gold in public relations on Friday. Its total tally at the end of the evening was 22 points.
On day one of the festival, Dentsu Webchutney had scored a total of 26 points with three silver and a gold metal at the Media Abbys, while Social Street had a total of 14 points thanks to two bronze and one silver.
Lodestar UM, the leading agency at the Media Abbys, had bagged a total of 62 points from three silver, three bronze and four golds.