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On-site CES ads take a somber turn

We took a stroll around the central CES 2009 walkways to compare this year's advertising banners with those at the show in years past. With the economy in a nuclear winter, those vendors still paying for on-site ads had focused their collateral on quiet, practical themes.

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lindsey-turrentine-0626

Lindsey Turrentine

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1 of 12 Lindsey Turrentine/CBS Interactive
This year, more CES and Consumer Electronics Association (AKA CEA, which runs CES) house ads have popped up around the show. Would this prominent space in front of South Hall have previously gone to a higher bidder?
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2009 CES also showcases ads from companies--such as Personal Communications Devices, or PCD--you may have never heard of. With an industry-wide pullback in advertising spending, CES may give less-known manufacturers a chance to familiarize the show-going masses with their wares.
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The Las Vegas Convention Center parking lot looks a lot emptier this year without the giant, purple-bedecked tent that Yahoo canceled at the last minute.
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Microsoft's ads take a down-home, family-oriented approach.
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Microsoft and its many dollars earned it a large percentage of the CES banner space this year. Most of its images incorporate feel-good family photos or images.
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A smaller company, New, also honed in on the simpler, quite family-life theme.
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Intel's relatively quiet ad campaign serves as a somber backdrop to its shockingly low earnings projections, announced today.
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This staid banner for a lesser-known company takes up a large wall on the South Hall.
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Case Logic's ceiling signage keeps it simple.
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Toshiba's series of hanging ads in an outdoor walkway take a straightforward approach: black, white, and lots of product photos.
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Most advertising around the show looks like it was produced by an in-house team rather than a pricey ad agency. Or perhaps agencies suspect that gaudy ads would appear distasteful.
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As a gift for making it to the end of the slideshow, we present AMD's dragon-themed ad. This banner is one of the few complex or fantastical we've seen.

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