BARCELONA — That phone in your pocket? It doesn’t exist. Not literally, of course. But the last year has seen a big shift in the outlook for mobile, according to one ad agency exec who recently took charge of global innovation.
“Mobile has disappeared at this conference,” he says. “It’s not as handset-forward, carrier-forward or network-forward. It’s more much about connectivity, personalisation, the way we live our lives, operate our businesses and how we connect.”
Shlachter will be keynote speaker at the Beet.TV executive retreat in Vieques, Puerto Rico, next week.
Mobile World Congress is no longer just the world’s largest mobile expo and conference. It has grown rapidly in recent years to become one of a clutch of four or five global mega-conferences attracting execs and hangers-on from all kinds of industries.
Beside distinctly non-phone hardware on show, MWC’s main headlines were Nokia’s reintroduction of its classic 3310 handset (a move suggesting mobile launches themselves have run out of steam) and new smartphones that have less bezel and more screen.
But TechCrunch writes MWC is now about “general connectivity as well as the devices and services which will connect our world in the future”. And, just as brands and ad agencies flock to the Consumer Electronics Show these days, so, too, is Mobile World Congress now a big draw for ad-land.
Shlachter, who recently moved to PMX after a stint as president at sibling Zenith’s VM1, says advertisers must respond to a world in which mobile phones now jostle with voice assistants and connected fridges as just parts of an overall connected experience.
“The next big leap for brands is to figure out how to live in that world – how to take advantage of all the signal, how to create more personalised experiences that are unique for different platforms they’re being consumed on,” he says.
“We have to stop thinking about it as a silo or independent channel, we have to think about how it can have access everything else.
“Navigating this world is becoming increasingly complex. Brands have to figure out the role they want to play with the relationship they have with their consumers in these environments.”
This video was produced in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress 2017. The series is sponsored by Turner. Please visit this page for additional segments from MWC.