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Getting Creative: Marketing Consumer Tech

From high-flying displays of drones to pop-up experiences, consumer technology marketing methods continue to evolve, diversify and become more eye-catching than ever. At CES 2018, many of the companies showcased new strategies. Just a few new tactics exhibitors leveraged at the show included staging mock protests, choreographed drone performances on the Las Vegas strip, and partnering with influencers to livestream speeches and press conference videos, all in hopes of grabbing the attention of attendees. Just a few out of the box strategies include: 

Canon USA

“The most compelling pieces of promotional content will always be ones that evoke powerful emotions,” explains Rob Pignataro, director of strategic new business at Canon USA, whose approach to advertising included featuring partner showcases and live online chats with industry thought leaders. A few of its visionary CES partners included FoxTales, an experiential marketing company; Fellow Robots, showing retail robots scanning inventory using Canon cameras; and Brizi, who used its remote-controlled simulated stadium camera to offer in-seat fan experiences. Canon also showed two concept cameras including a single lens unit that can swivel 360 degrees and use AI to track faces. 

Huawei Mobile

 Huawei Mobile’s partnerships with online influencers Linus Sebastian, Jonathan Morrison  and Judner Aura included sponsored Instagram posts, Facebook Live streaming videos, and visits to the company’s booth. These promotional spots helped generate positive goodwill and impression with end-users for the business. They were viewed and consumed by far more people than images and videos shared via the company’s own official online channels.


Netflix’s use of actors portraying hordes  of protesters taking a stand against the concept of immortality and a company called Psychasec, whose services include solutions for transporting your consciousness into someone else’s body. Psychasec — which also had a booth featuring lifelike bodies behind glass — is a fictional company, however. These stunts were staged to promote popular sci-fi show Altered Carbon, which aired on the online streaming video service in February.

Samsung Galaxy 

 At the Samsung Galaxy Experience Zone, attendees could wear virtual reality headsets and enjoy the simulated experience of skiing or snowboarding down a mountain. Designed to promote awareness for Samsung’s solutions in the high-tech category, the stunt helped the company establish greater mindshare in an increasingly competitive field. CTA projects record-setting sales for AR/VR headsets and eyewear in 2018 (expected to move 4.9 million units and top $1.2 billion in America this year alone) — a market where Samsung is vying to position itself at the forefront. 



Intel set a new Guinness World Records  title for the most drones airborne simultaneously when it flew 110 Intel Shooting Star Mini drones indoors before Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s keynote. Also a display of dozens  of flying drones took to the night sky above  the Bellagio hotel, courtesy of Intel. Whizzing around to displays of music and lights, the high-tech (and highly choreographed routine) helped illustrate the power of the company’s smart computing technology. 


Kia’s #BoundlessForAll campaign promoted practical uses for smart car technology  over advanced technical features. Highlights included illustrations of how automatic steering features can take the wheel and drive while you videoconference with friends and family, or safety features that can divert traffic away from disasters such as fires and floods so that emergency vehicles can get through when needed.

Clearly, consumer technology marketers will continue to get more creative as  they look to capture audiences’ increasingly elusive attention. Going forward, expect more clever and cutting-edge  campaigns — a trend other leaders in the field would do well to tap into. 

Scott Steinberg