The 2018 Digiday CES Awards

Keep up to date with Digiday’s annual coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. More from the series →

Another CES is in the books — and as the organizers would say, it was the biggest one yet. Some companies and executives had a splendid week in Las Vegas, while others could have fared better. Here’s who won and lost at CES 2018.

The real CES impresarios:
MediaLink, as usual.

Thirstiest company:
Google. It was everywhere.

Best rumor:
Turner originally booked the Aria hotel’s wedding chapel — where it hosted meetings and presentations this week — because CES was supposed to be the official coming-out party for a merged AT&T and Time Warner.

Best photo:

Tastiest snack:
Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup at Turner’s wedding chapel. Sometimes, it’s the simple things.

Most interesting activation:
Gannett/USA Today hosted advertising clients at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where they also filmed some content in virtual reality. It was raining, and people still went.

Biggest blunder:
The lights going out at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Worst real-time marketing:

Best place to escape the smoke and madness:
Any suites inside the Vdara hotel.

Best party:
Spotify went full Vegas at Hakkasan.

Coolest performer:
Three-way tie between John Legend at Google’s party, Run the Jewels at Fusion Media Group’s party and Lauryn Hill at Pandora’s party.

Best sign of the times:
Turning in any direction and seeing a massive billboard with the words “Hey Google.”

Grossest example of why our industry is the worst:
The secret, invite-only mansion party referred to by one media executive as the “hookers and blow” party.

Most notably absent company:

Best quote:
“CES is good for business but bad for your soul.”

Worst panel:
The Federal Communications Commissions panel previewing 2018 with two commissioners, including chairman Ajit Pai, who was not in attendance.

Dumbest technology:
A robot that cuddles with you.

Worst organizer:
Every hotel that was woefully unprepared for just a sprinkle of rain.

More in Media

There is a new definition for MFAs, but it’s meant to be open to interpretation

A new definition for MFAs is available but the vague nature of the guidelines is leading to a lack of standards that might prevent adoption.

Publishers weigh generative AI’s pros and cons during the Digiday Publishing Summit

The publishers who attended DPS were focused on the potential upsides of applying the technology to their operations while guarding against the downsides.

ChatGPT’s latest update fuels publishers’ concerns about AI chatbots siphoning traffic

Now that ChatGPT users can surf the internet for information, some publishers are reconsidering the weight of the issue.