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Cookies, Streaming, and AI: The Biggest Takeaways for Marketers from CES 2024

CES was back, in pre-pandemic fashion this year. While the show once again featured driverless cars, umpteen health wearables. and the thinnest of TVs - the advertising and media conversation fixated more on dealmaking and tackling the biggest challenges ahead in the new year. Here are five key takeaways from this year’s show for marketers and media executives:

Cookies are Really Gone

After years of delays and rumored reversals, Google finally began the process of depreciated cookies on Jan. 4. The fact that this long-awaited event took place just days before CES 2024 made the subject of the cookieless future a much discussed topic at the show. Naturally, a slew of companies touting cookieless solutions – such as Triplelift and Transunion – were out in force, looking to wake up any marketers who have been sleeping on this potentially monumental shift. Of course, the end of third party cookies also played quite well for any company boasting of first party data at scale, which included both the major tech platforms, and the seemingly unending number of new retail media networks

Shopping Spree

It was hard to go anywhere at CES – or at least in the advertising-dominated Aria convention center – without seeing a company touting its shoppabilty. From TikTok streaming a live shopping event, to Amazon featuring a showcase of fully shoppable ad experiences, to nearly every RMN (retail media) network holding down a major presence (see the Walmart Connect Lounge, and Instacart’s mock grocery store checkout), it was clear that commerce-oriented media will once again rule in 2024.

AI is Really Here – We Think

Ever since ChatGPT exploded onto the scene in late 2022, excitement and trepidation surrounding artificial intelligence's impact on advertising and media has been pervasive. This was no different at CES, with the exception being that this year more companies seemed to be able to showcase some real world examples of how the tech is changing their business today. While generative AI continues to generate more of the buzz – see Snap CEO Evan Spiegel showing off how much its young users have gotten into sharing AI-created images - it will be interesting to see if AI has more immediate impact on media planning and optimization.

Streaming Rules Again

Netflix touted new user numbers for its ad-supported streaming service, while hosting ad executives in a cool after hours speakeasy. The FASTs (Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television) like Tubi were out in full force, as well as the major TV manufacturers such as LG and Samsung touting their burgeoning ad businesses. Meanwhile, Amazon used the kickoff of 2024 to roll out its expansion of ad-supported Prime Video, as the race for more inventory, and more dollars, continues at a brisk pace, particularly as linear TV continues to slide.

Bonus Takeaway: Robots are Coming

For those who made it over to the show floor, the talk was also about AI, but in a more tangible fashion. Robots were showcased early and often. There were robotic pets, robot chefs, even  a robotic bartender. Are we about to have talking metallic companions in our homes a la Rocky 3? That remains to be seen.

Credit: @RoboticsAINews

In summary, CES 2024 showcased pivotal trends for marketers and media execs: the cookieless era's arrival, AI's growing influence, and the dominance of shoppable and streaming, ad-supported media. These developments underscore the need for agility and innovation in adapting to the evolving digital landscape.

At Adlook, we've closely followed these trends, introducing a cookieless toolset for advertisers, enhanced by AI. We also released significant research on both advertiser and consumer perspectives regarding cookies and the progression of ad-targeting in the cookie-less era. For more details, please refer to our CES announcements:

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