Coincident – CES 2012

Those who know me, know that I’m not a big fan of advertising. Of course “the why” isn’t nearly as simple as it would first appear however.  The fundamental problem with advertising isn’t with the message per se, but the delivery – as an onerous chore, forced upon us in some sort of arcane moral obligation for “free” content. While that model was [at least somewhat] true in a bygone era where over the air (OTA) ruled, with most TV viewers getting their content via a pay-to-watch provider and technologies like the DVR becoming more prevalent, reliance on this out-dated methodology, and a refusal to see ads as content (which like any content needs to be good, and valuable to be worth our time), relegates them to the realm of soap operas and MTV (i.e. things I refuse watch) in my home. With the problem identified, a solution should be obvious; make the content and the surrounding experience relevant and enjoyable.

This concept seems to elude most, but interestingly enough it has not gone completely unnoticed with a company called Coincident creating a solution targeted at content providers and MSOs to create an interesting and enjoyable way to monetize video on the PC and second screen devices in the living room without the level of horrific intrusion into the current user experience. Never having heard of the company, or the tools that they created to “merge” multiple contextually relevant videos into a consistent, coherent experience so it was great so see a glimpse into what is [hopefully] the future of advertising. That said, while it was a really slick demo (most everything I saw is available on their website, including my favorite – the Audi Experience :)) it was also somewhat concerning how little attention was paid to the ability of users to control and personalize the second screen experience which I think will be key to obtaining user buy in for using it, especially the increasingly distracted consumers that we are.