Automakers Hijack CES, but It’s as Much About the In-Car Experience as the Vehicles

MDC execs talk trends and the rise of content

LAS VEGAS—The experience of driving an automobile in 2017 isn't as dreamy as the one Toyota presented at CES this week with its Concept-i vehicle. And no wonder: The Concept-i, featuring an AI-driven UX interface called Yui that's more soulmate than dashboard, is Toyota's vision for the year 2030. 

There are, though, plenty of signposts that lead toward the Concept-i today, as many automakers have unveiled in-car technologies this week that are more about the interaction between driver and car than between car and road (even as the latter makes headlines through advancements in autonomous driving).

Adweek caught up with MDC Partners CEO Scott Kauffman and president of global digital operations Michael Bassik here at CES to talk about tech trends, including automotive. We also discuss the rise of content—how the focus for marketers at CES isn't just on hardware and software innovations but on what new types of content can be created, distributed and measured through those new technologies.

And we chat about why MDC—parent network of creative agencies like CP+B and 72andSunny—comes to CES every year, and the types of innovative technology its shops are pioneering on behalf of clients.