Jump forward 10 years and 2023 will be remembered as a busy year in both technology and marketing. Here is a summary of the big news stories which defined the year.
Print Advertising Turns A New Page
The majority of magazines may have already gone digital, but Gucci’s fullpage video ad in March’s Vogue shows that the ‘printed word’ is not dead yet. Production cost of the advert is estimated at between $9 and $12 per copy (more than the cover price) with Vogue themselves shouldering a big share of the costs. However with the price of flexiscreens tumbling fast, video print advertising could be a widespread medium in 3 to 5 years and provide a further lifeline for struggling print publishers.
Google Announce ‘Real World’ Analytics Launch For 2024
In November Google announced that their Real World Analytics service will be launching in early 2024. Real World will bring together tracking from many Google services including search, chauffeur, showroom, shopfront and shopping express – allowing marketers to track buying decisions from origin through to purchase.
Google have yet to show a working version of Real World, but the service homepage promises that ‘for the first time businesses will be able to monitor how their online advertising affects real world purchasing decisions. Allowing you to target your advertising more effectively across Google’s wide range of services including online, in car and in shop’.
Google’s Real World service announcement came in the same week as rival Baidu released figures showing the changing nature of search. According to Baidu, autonomous search now accounts for more than 50% of all search results they produce. Only 48% of searches completed were specifically requested by users, the rest were automatic search results based on location, environmental sensors or habit triggers.
HTC First To Stop Smart Phone Production
Early in the year, HTC announced that 2023 would be the last year that a smartphone features within their product range. The announcement came as new figures showed smartphones now only account for 19% of global mobile sales – far behind both smart wrist and eye wear.
HTC say that halting smartphone production will allow them to concentrate on new model development, including their own contender to Apple’s hugely successful iFashion jewellery launched in late 2022.
Healthgen Scores Big Success Despite Criticisms
Health monitoring company Healthgen have announced that they will have shipped over 200 million units of their HealthBand by the end of 2023. The HealthBand is credited with revolutionising the personal health monitoring market by replacing high hardwear costs with a subscription based model supported by targeted advertising.
Healthgen’s payment model has led health professionals in many countries to call for a ban on the HealthBand, warning that targeted advertising for supplements and diet solutions was replacing real medical care and putting lives at risk. They also criticise Healthgen’s ‘Personal Monitoring’ service which is staffed by non-medically trained service agents who could easily miss warning signs of a major health failure in customer’s data.
Healthgen have dismissed the claims, pointing to their rigorous staff training programme and their mention in a 2020 World Health Organisation Report which states that personal health monitoring technology has been responsible for a near revolution in early diagnosis and targeted care giving.
McDonald’s Starwars Tie-in Is Campaign Of The Year
McDonald’s Meet The Stars campaign has been widely recognised as the most successful global advertising campaign of 2023. Coinciding with the release of Disney’s Star Wars Episode IX, Meet the Stars allowed Glass, iWear and Baidu Eye wearers to meet and interact with ‘hologramatic’ versions of the most popular Disney Starwars characters at major McDonald’s outlets.
The promotion lead to queues in many major cities throughout summer as Starwars fans got to question some of their favourite characters, as well as have photos and videos taken by fellow eyewear users. Many of the more humorous encounters went viral, and dominated the most watched in 2023 across YouTube and other Video channels.
Abercombie & Fitch Open First Checkout-less Store.
In July, fashion retailer Abercombie & Fitch opened the world’s first checkout-less store in Singapore. Staffed only by their trademark virtual retail assistants, account holders have the freedom to choose any clothes in store and walk straight out of the door without any checkout procedure.
The system combines smart fabric tagging with always-on wallet software held on account holder’s mobile devices. Face recognition is also used for purchase validation and customer security.
Following the success of the Singapore store, Abercombie& Fitch plan to extend the initiative to other flagship stores throughout Asia in 2025.
Supermarkets Race In Smart Appliance Market.
Strong interest in last year’s Hotpoint-Tesco Smart Fridge has led to a string of grocer-electronic manufacturer tie-ups throughout 2023. According to leading retail analyst Bo Lau, smart appliances which monitor content consumption and eating habits “pave the way for automatic grocery ordering and delivery.”
According to Lau, “The Smart Fridge’s ability to monitor food consumption and automatically add items into an online Tesco basket is just the start of a grocery shopping revolution. In another 5 years, our kitchen appliances will be smart enough to do the shopping for us”.
Rumour has it that Tesco will be releasing a low cost version of the Smart fridge in 2024. The new option will include promotional advertising on the door screen – allowing users to instantly place promoted items into their online basket for purchase with the weekly shop.
UK Government Faces Pressure Over Facebook Data Purchase.
In October the UK Government finally confirmed it had allocated a ‘significant budget’ to purchase UK user data from social media network Facebook. The anonymous data will be used to “gain a better understanding of the British population in order to better target resources and services.” However, select named data would also be used in evidence to help tackle crime and benefit fraud.
The government admitted that it had “struggled to keep up” with the changing face of society and claims access to Facebook data would provide a cost-effective window onto the current state of the nation.
The move has not only prompted protests from British Facebook users, but a number of other governments are thought to have sort clarification on the exact data being purchased. The fear is that Facebook’s global reach could mean data on foreign nationals being included in the UK’s purchase. Especially concerned is the Chinese government who only recently approved the merging of Chinese social media provider Renren with Facebook as part of their new ‘free-web’ policy.