Three Questions with Greg Manago at CES 2017

The intersection of content and technology is pervasive theme at CES – and one of the key trends that we’ve been following. We sat down with Greg Manago, Co-President, Mindshare Content+ Entertainment to hear his big picture view of mediums like VR and AR, as well as the important advice for brands and storytellers.

What advice would you give for marketers in mediums like VR, AR, or 360-degree video?

Remember that not every story can be told in VR or AR (or 360-video). The possibilities are endless, but they’re not unlimited. For example, it’s not something you can really use for an interview, or in really specific types of content where the director needs to tell you where to look and how to feel in order to move a story along. There’s a tremendous amount of new experiences and stories that you can tell in these mediums—but it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all.

Absolutely make sure that you’re working with the right partners—and that you make the expectations clear for brands going in. It’s still a new area of content creation, with a lot of things that you need to take into consideration. For example, if you’re shooting something 360-degree video, you can’t be on the set—or the viewer will see you. Brands, agencies, etc. have to go into another room or literally hide themselves in a closet or something. We shot a 360-degree video with a famous athlete for one brand—we left him alone in a gym shooting hoops and then watched the playback. Our clients were great and comfortable with that, but some brands might not be.

Finally, I agree very much with something that Eko’s Yoni Bloch was saying at our Content+ event last night, which is that it’s time to find some new creative voices. It’s been very interesting to see what big Hollywood directors are doing with VR, but brands should also take their cues from software developers, video game creators—what they can show us with this technology is just as interesting as what J.J. Abrams would do with it.

What’s next for this field?

We met with Blippar yesterday during our Mindshare CES Huddles and they presented some really interesting insights on the future of AR. There’s the potential to overlay the entire universe with information – whether it’s shoppable, or something that’s more informational. The idea that you could be looking at a pair of shoes in a storefront window, and suddenly all the relevant information pops up – the price, what other colors are available, other products from that brand. Or, you could be looking at London Bridge, and suddenly all the historical information is presented in front of you. From a content perspective, the possibilities are endless.

What else are you excited about here at CES?

There’s so much here that can inform the way we create adaptive content—from using voice commands, to gesture and eye control, to open APIs that bring in all sorts of information that can inform the content that you see. We have the opportunity to bring viewers and consumers to a place where it’s almost like they’re the conductors of what we’re bringing them, creating their own content experiences that are tailored to them, in the best way possible. I can’t wait to see that come to life.