Stars and Heroes at IFA 2012


My IFA Berlin 2011 blog talked about the problem of ‘tech’ companies bamboozling people with acronyms, model numbers and tech-speak. Well, they’re not perfect but things have improved.

This year, the ‘latest tech’ and ‘must-have’ products from brown goods, IT, home entertainment, or whatever you may call them, were only momentary stars compared to the real heroes of the show, their white goods cousins.

Yes, there were launches and ‘firsts’ for Windows 8 phone devices, Sony’s 84-inch 4K TV, Android Jelly Bean, Samsung’s first Google TV device, and a whole host of tech-led ‘look what we can do’ products on display.

However, the difference with IFA Berlin 2012 was clear to see. During these unique economic times, people expect to hear about innovation that helps them. The once ‘dull’ washing machine and ‘ordinary’ fridge freezer now strut their cutting-edge design stuff while oozing with technology; but technology with a different focus.

Pretty much all of the technology being demonstrated made a tangible difference, rather than just adding a cool factor.  You could ‘see’ the impact a particular technology or feature would have. The demonstrations were about outcomes that we could all grasp and, even if it was our emotional responses that were stimulated, see ourselves using back at home to real benefit.

The way these brands delivered their demonstrations was on the whole clean, clear, quick, and to the point.

This once quiet marketplace is waking up to the real requirements of consumers today. While their so called sexy cousins in ‘brown goods/IT’ drip feed us consistently with ways to consume entertainment, these modern day heroes allow us the time and money to indulge in such leisure.

I walked away from the show having had all my senses bombarded with messaging for three days to realise, without surprise, that the elements that have stayed with me were easy to remember.

Why? Because they were in a language I recognised, had a simple, single point to them and delivered a tangible benefit.

Roll on IFA Berlin 2013…..