It has to be said that the real star of this show is New York. Not that the programme or the exhibition is poor, just that few places on earth do advertising technology as well as New York.

So what happens when you take the advertising industry (or at least those parts of it concerned with tech) and get them talking in the Javits exhibition centre? Good venue by the way, apparently some lady called Hillary has it booked for a party next week. 

Well, adtech was surprisingly down to earth. Plenty of educational sessions from the big names. Facebook, Foursquare, Snapchat, Publicis, Audi, Volvo, Semrush but all quite accessible.

The keynote from Richard Tobaccowala was entertainingly honest. "Mobile has disrupted everything. Consumers are David/Danielle against the big brand Goliath and... we have absolutely no idea what's happening". Particularly entertainingly, he spoke of the “Turd on the table” - his way, I might paraphrase, of saying “For heaven's sake, tell the client the bad news. Don’t dodge it, or mitigate. You can both see there is a turd on the table, don’t pretend! You can read his blog on the Turd On the Table.

So what were the trends? Well, amongst the obvious, I was surprised by how much of the show was given over to VR. Perhaps fully 20% of the floor was VR companies. Some very impressive demos too.

Even using something as affordable as galaxy gear (glad I didn't need to strap a Samsung note to my noggin, with potentially explosive consequences...) one company demoed a rocket launch. I can tell you that having "stood next to" a rocket launch in VR, I'm very glad I don't need to do it in reality. I’d rather take my chances with the Samsung Note.

I think we can expect to see a big increase in VR content coming through Facebook (remember they bought oculus rift) and both PlayStation and Xbox seem to be positioning for a move very soon. Gear is good enough now, and will only get better. I'd be gobsmacked if apple don't unveil something in the next two years.

Two things to look forward to then.

1. Brands will step up budgets for VR production

2. Expect vacuous muppets in headsets, vacuously gesturing at cyberspace.

Mini vending is big too. Product vending machines small enough to be wall hung, with connected  screens and social connectivity. Like me for free candy!

There are some fringe cases and wacky startups, of course - mobile apps for measuring the nutritional content of breast milk being one that springs to mind.

And in the words of the closing keynote: Death to AdTech! Long Live AdTech!

 


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