While no one wants to admit it, there’s a lot of underlying tension at CES. Mega-corporations are sizing up the competition before another year of one-upmanship while startups drop their entire marketing budget for one chance at making it big. This is why I always appreciate the thoroughly entertaining and inexplicably out-of-place United States Postal Service booth. From Marilyn Monroe impersonators to full-sized basketball hoops, the connections back to mail are tenuous at best, but they always strive to bring something which gets people talking.
This irreverent atmosphere overshadows the inclusion of more substantive demonstrations, such as last year’s partnership with Aurasma. Aurasma is an augmented reality application that turns static images into dynamic, 3D animations. Using this technology, companies can send mailers which look and feel like traditional advertisements, but which come alive when consumers are savvy enough to view it through their mobile device. As the USPS struggles to maintain its relevance in the digital age, expect to see more of these hybrid advertising opportunities at future CES events.