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ad:tech SF: Making ads welcome in smart homes and connected cars

Posted by Chloe Della Costa on March 27th, 2014 at 1:41 pm

With the massive amounts of consumer data now available, advertisers can not only target particular consumers, they can target them when they are experiencing specific emotions in specific contexts. But is it possible to make these real-time ads unobtrusive? For Brian Wong, CEO and co-founder of Kiip, the answer is simple: Don't push traditional ads. "I don't ever want to give connected moments to brands as an ad opportunity," he told attendees on day two of at ad:tech San Francisco. Wong claims that rewards are more effective because they add value. For example, when mobile and wearable device data shows that a consumer just finished a workout, that person should get a free Power Bar.

According to Michael Sprague, head of marketing and partnerships at Kiip, here's what the company has learned:

1. Respect user behaviors.

2. Add value.

3. Serendipity.

Sprague emphasized that it is essential to think of consumers as people first. "You could call it real-time marketing," Wong added, "but it's more like real-time needs-addressing."

Jay Giraud, founder of Mojio, addressed consumer concerns about connected cars, including privacy and tracking. "Transparency, value, and control are key," he said. Ultimately, users need to know what are they choosing to give up if they are going to willingly exchange their information for value. And for safety purposes, the Mojio app cannot be used while driving, and it even send aut0-reply texts to take away the temptation to respond. But when you come to a stop on a road trip, you could be rewarded with a free Red Bull to help you stay awake. Capitalizing on these types of moments also works with areas such as wearables and the connected home, where for example, people can be rewarded for energy saving behaviors.

Wong also claimed that the ads featured in the Waze app are bothersome and ineffective for two reasons: They interrupt drivers, and they are not contextually relevant.

What is important is to re-think traditional methods of marketing in these spaces. In particular, Wong has a unique take on frequency. Not only are these rewards rather than actual ads, they shouldn't be repeated. "People are more excited to see something that they see less frequently," he explained. "It's the same principle as long-distance relationships." As marketers grow more and more capable of reaching people in their most intimate moments (when they are most likely to resist brand messaging), keep in mind that less is more.

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