Why Brands Can’t Let AI, VR Hype Blur the Importance of Mobile

Undertone's Franchi sees smartphone ubiquity as marketing's real opportunity

LAS VEGAS—For Eric Franchi, cofounder of Undertone, CES 2017 was the year that the connected home truly arrived, with VR, AR and AI on deck for Internet-of-things retail and, eventually, advertising. 

But Franchi cautioned marketers that while there is a lot of buzz around AR, VR and AI, brands should not lose sight of the fact that they are all powered by smartphones, which are in the pockets of so much of the planet's population at this point. 

"The system of record for all of it is in our pocket, and that's the smartphone," he told Adweek at CES, pointing out that there are nearly 5 billion in use globally today. "It's the device to rule them all." 

Check out the video above for more.