5G to be a game-changer for marketers and advertisers, says Nikhil Rungta of Verizon Media

Discussing the future of digital advertising with, Rungta, Country Manager, India, Verizon Media, explains how 5G will redefine the relationship of brands with consumers. He says the latest technology will enable advertisers to reimagine storytelling

Akanksha Nagar
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5G to be a game-changer for marketers and advertisers, says Nikhil Rungta of Verizon Media

Nikhil Rungta

As telecos prep up for 5G networks, which are expected to be launched in India in 2021, advertisers are already eying the opportunity to drive some impactful marketing.

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5G is expected to be a game-changer, especially for marketers and advertisers as the technology will facilitate faster loading time, connectivity, speed, reach and what not.

This might also bring forth a whole new era of personalised advertising. caught up with Nikhil Rungta, Country Manager, India, Verizon Media (which owns brands such as Yahoo, HuffPost and TechCrunch) to understand what all 5G will serve on the platter for advertisers and how they can make the most of it.

“5G’s superior connectivity, high bandwidth with lightning speed and low latency will significantly improve user experience. It will create a whole new canvas for advertisers, who will be able to supercharge video and immersive experiences and innovate with ad experiences like never before,” he said.

With 5G, advertisers will be able to apply technologies such as Extended Reality (XR), the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence in ways that are not possible at present for mass consumption. So, in that sense, 5G will be a revolutionary foundational tech, truly path-breaking in what it will allow.

For instance, to buy a coffee table, you’ll be able to place it virtually (at scale) in your own living room to see if it fits, and place accessories on it too with augmented reality (AR). With almost no lag time, such data-heavy, next-gen digital experiences will be seamless. 

Rungta said this is also going to transform how brands redefine their relationships with consumers.

“As you look at the future of digital advertising, the scale and potential is tremendous with 5G,” he added.

He said the acceleration of emerging media formats such as DOOH and CTV will benefit from the power and low latency of 5G.

The next-generation native ads will become more interactive and advertisers will be able to run more seamlessly alongside streaming content.

In short, 5G tech will mean limitless possibilities for advertisers. 

He said, “With 5G, we’ll have 100x more connected devices, and brands will have access to high-quality data in real time. Marketers will have many more opportunities to personalise and customise millions of interactive experiences at scale. Brands will be able to gauge what a customer wants, and more importantly, deliver such an experience at the exact moment when it is useful for the consumer.”

5G will give a major boost to content consumption

Consumers today want unique content experiences — a trend that has been fuelled by the pandemic with many more people coming online for content and entertainment.

The use of streaming and mobile video products has risen across every demographic category. 

According to Rungta, the new audiences online are seeking enhanced content experiences.

“There is now a higher demand for differentiated content that can excite and capture a user’s interest and imagination. It’s going to be boom time for content creators. But with rising competition, XR will offer a way to stand out. 3D, 360, AR, Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Realities (MR) will offer a platform rich, immersive and engaging content experiences. Once 5G arrives, such experiences, which are data-heavy and need superlative connectivity, will explode. The faster the connection and lower the latency, the better the content experience will be,” he explained.

Definitely, brands, with the advent of 5G, will be able to connect and engage consumers in much more impactful, creative, surprising ways.

But what kind of brands will be at forefront to quickly adopt this technology?

Rungta answered, “In categories such as automotive and home decor that lean heavily on in-person contact and on-site product experience, investing in AR experiences provides an effective alternative. Many retail brands are turning to AR to counter store closures. AR try-before-you-buy experiences are extremely useful right now for retail brands, letting customers virtually try on clothes, makeup, accessories — a whole gamut of products. A consumer can see several looks on themselves, which can move them from browsing to actually buying.”

Brands will be able to leverage AR and VR that overlay physical environments—in real time, and at scale. And for consumers, it will provide a new way to interact with ads that merge the physical and digital worlds together.

“Storytelling at present is a very 2D experience. With 5G, brands and consumers will be able to step into a 3D digital world. Brands will be able to create such experiences where consumers no longer merely ‘watch,’ they ‘interact’,” he added.

5G will enable spectacular streaming (no more buffering!), consistent and exponentially better quality video, underscored by the possibility for interactivity.

Globally, the company itself has recently launched Verizon Media Immersive, a new suite of AR, VR and MR products that offer advertisers new opportunities to use the latest technology to reimagine storytelling. They are creating and scaling one-of-a-kind experiences that seamlessly connect the physical and digital world, utilising cutting-edge formats ranging from volumetric capture, consumer MEC to motion capture. 

5G to help brands with crisis induced challenges

Through this pandemic, Rungta mentioned how we all have seen marketers moving from disruptive to immersive and engaging interactions that provide convenience and utility to consumers.

They are leveraging technology-enabled creativity to meet fast-evolving needs of consumers.

Buying a car, for example, would typically require multiple visits to car dealerships, which is not possible if your area has a lockdown. But through AR and VR, one could still evaluate any number of models right on driveway, placing a car digitally and then exploring the car and its features. One could virtually take the car for a test drive, or have a salesperson join to give an individual a virtual tour inside the car, to check out features. 

And during such times of crisis, he said, “Whether it is festival shopping to refurbish your house, or upgrading your wardrobe, with XR experiences, consumers can explore a range of products — everything from home decor, to clothes to accessories, and even shortlist a car. Such ad experiences could be useful for consumers and effective in driving purchases even through times when movement is curtailed.”

Nikhil Rungta 5G Verizon Media