Media Giants & Marketing Heavyweights At CES

CES may be an electronics show but media moguls and marketing giants are out in force.

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation
Don Emmert | AFP | Getty Images
Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation

At a dinner of media, advertising and Internet execs, hosted by consulting company MediaLink LLC, Rupert Murdoch stood up and raised a glass, saying it's more important than ever for News Corp to work with technology companies early in their content development process.

That's exactly what News Corp has done with its news app; launching on the iPad in two weeks, a prototype drawing oohs and ahhs from the execs at the dinner. Murdoch noted that all the gadgets at CES aren't valuable without great content.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes was equally bullish about the value of content, and the importance of new technology to revenue growth. Bewkes broke it out simply: more screens on new gadgets means more viewing, which means more ad dollars and subscription revenue.

But this year media giants are bringing another player to the table — the marketing giants who buy their advertising.

With the traditional 30 second spot losing its power, major Fortune 100 brands are looking to the gadgets and services featured here at CES to better communicate their messages and connect directly with consumers.

Coca Cola brought its entire marketing team to CES for a tour of the show floor and a series of meetings curated by MediaLink's CEO Michael Kassan. Johnson & Johnson sent a senior marketing executive to the event for the first time. And a senior Unilever marketing exec told me she's never seen such a significant presence from her Marketing colleagues. The list goes on — Mercedes-Benz and Delta are also ramping up their presence at CES.

CES 2011 - Your Digital Life - A CNBC Special Report
CES 2011 - Your Digital Life - A CNBC Special Report

MediaLink Kassan, known as a go-to "fixer" and "connector" for media and tech CEOs (News Corp and Coke are both clients) described the growing web of relationships. It started out as Madison & Vine, then Hollywood got involved, and now Silicon Valley is also a major player at the table. And brands aren't just participating through their ad agencies, the brands themselves are taking a seat at the table, involved in the earliest discussions about innovative ways to utilize everything from tablets to Twitter.

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