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The electronics show is back in Las Vegas, and there are some serious subjects the ad industry needs to hash out

By Garett Sloan, AdAge. Published on January 4, 2023.

CES is having its comeback residency in Las Vegas at a pivotal moment in tech and advertising, as the industry steadies itself for an uncertain economic climate going into 2023.

TikTok, Walmart and Netflix—brands that haven’t typically had a presence at the early January electronics showcase—will show up in a big way. Excitement, and the challenges, around Web3 and the metaverse will certainly be major talking points as will heady subjects such as the fall of FTX, the disgraced crypto exchange, which could affect marketers and ad agencies in the new year. And, of course, there will be electronics.

Netflix and deal
Jeremi Gorman, president of worldwide advertising at Netflix, is speaking at C Space, and it marks the first time that the streaming giant has a real contingent at CES as an ad seller. Netflix has started popping up at major ad industry events, including at Cannes in 2022. Netflix launched its first ad-supported streaming subscription service in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“They will be there and have a real presence,” Kassan said.

All major ad platforms will be at CES, said George Manas, CEO of Omincom Group’s OMD Worldwide, pointing to Google, Amazon, Snap and Pinterest, among others. Omnicom plans to meet with hundreds of clients from major brands, Manas said.

“It looks like we’re now exceeding pre-pandemic levels from clients,” Manas said, adding that the agency will continue to meet with executives and have discussions with its key partners at the trade show.

The C Space also will feature discussions from major brands such as Delta. John Deere, Stellantis and BMW will give keynote addresses, alongside traditional electronics giants such as LG. Group Black CEO Travis Montaque and Instacart Chief Marketing Officer Laura Jones are set to speak at C Space, too.

Retail media and ad tech
Walmart is a bit of a newcomer to CES. It has a growing ad business, like Netflix and is competing against a host of retail media networks sprouting up in the industry.

“Walmart traditionally would attend CES as a buyer,” Fabrizio said. “But now to see Walmart at CES, participating with their media and their media connect [Walmart Connect] team, that’s a new activation, and a new way that we’re seeing Walmart and other retailers participate through their ad teams.”

Amazon Ads will also be at CES. Brands will be interested in hashing out the latest developments in retail media, cloud computing and the ever-important “data clean rooms,” OMD’s Manas said. In fact, Clorox and OMD will host a discussion at CES about data clean rooms.

“The perspective of CES tends to be five to 10 years out,” Manas said, “but what we’re going to be obsessing over this year is this theme of ‘immediate innovation.’”

With the concerns about the economic climate heading into 2023, brands are getting back to basics around technology that can be applied today to help reduce costs, and that includes within their advertising strategies, Manas said.