A major benefit of the increased use of smartphones is advertising response. You see an ad, and you can immediately connect to the brand through your phone. In TV, SMS has been the most commonly used method, and it has been pretty successful. QR codes have also been tried with less proven results – it’s a pain having to open the QR reader and move towards the TV to scan it. However, audio response, or audio tagging could be the new killer app for TV response.
Most people know Shazam as a music tagging service, but the UK company are about to make a big impact in the world of advertising with Shazam for TV. They have already tried other advertising applications and the TV service has been used on some US adverts for a few months. However the ad fest that is The Super Bowl will see Shazam tags used in half of the adverts. The great advantage of audio tagging is the ease with which they can tag an ad. Unlike SMS it’s just a single tap to engage and unlike QR, it works seamlessly from the sofa.
Shazam are not the only audio tagging service for TV. IntoNow, which was acquired by Yahoo does a similar job. But Shazam has one a major advantage. They have users. 165 million of them to be exact. They have more users than Google+ or Bebo and 10 times the user base of Foursquare or Instagram. With such a significant audience the potential of Shazam TV could be massive.
More Shazam-able ads here: http://www.youtube.com/user/shazamfortv/featured
There’s more than one way to get a response on mobile from advertising. We’ve seen SMS widely used – over 30% of people in the UK have responded by SMS, we’ve seen great MMS campaigns. There’s also visual response. Brands keep plugging away at QR, and new image recognition technologies will take this forward. But what about audio as a response mechanism?
Last year Shazam, the music tagging software, tied up with Faithless in the UK to allow TV viewers to tag their ad taking them to their concert ticket buying page. Take That did something similar with their first single release from their new album. But it’s not just music acts, Shazam has now created tie-in’s with Honda on their video channel, and Strabucks. Both brands had a gamification element, where the tagging was used as part of a discover or treasure-hunt. In the case of Starbucks that was with SCVNGR. Future brand tie-ins will include Paramount Pictures, P&G and Progressive insurance.
Shazam’s brand friendly approach means well may well see some exciting examples of audio-based consumer engagement.
I previously blogged about the potential of Shazam as a marketing channel. The company are taking another step forward in that direction. This time it’s in the form of brand promotions on the tagging screen. Called Listening Screen Takeover, Shazam is offering the opportunity for brands to replace their usual tagging logo with their own banners. Once the track has been found, the banner remains at the top of the page. At the moment their roster for the take over includes 28 artists such as Lady Gaga and The Black Eye Peas.
Whilst I think the move is in an interesting direction, it looks like they are missing a trick. Afterall, the take over is little more than display advertising. I think the marketing opportunity lies in brands getting customers to tag audio – music or voice – using Shazam and then allow the brand to continue the marketing experience there. Think of the latest John Lewis Xmas ad, the one that uses the popular cover by Ellie Goulding. Wouldn’t it be great if I could simply tag the ad with Shazam and I’m taken straight to the (brand spanking new) John Lewis mobile site. Or I could do the same if I heard the ad on the radio. The benefit of using the tagging as the brand engagement is that the consumer has chosen that interaction. I’m not sure how taking over the tagging screen will go down with consumers. They may just find it annoying.
Two new mobile marketing campaigns have appeared this week that are particularly interesting. First, Faithless added the Shazam logo to their TV ad. Users could tag it through Shazam and be able to buy their tickets through their mobile. Take That took and different take on it. They are using Shazam as a means of competition entry: when fans hear their new single, The Flood, they can tag it on Shazam and they are automatically entered into their Golden Tickets competition. Fans will also receive updates when the track and their new album become available on i-tunes.
Whether you’re a fan of the two bands or not, this is an interesting take on mobile response marketing. Whilst Shazam users have been able to buy concert tickets before (for example with O2 Priority), linking it directly to the band’s promotion is a new move.
For the last ten years texting a keyword to a shortcode has been a common method to engagement: whether it be voting, asking for more information or even getting a web-link, it is pretty common place. However, keywords and shortcodes do not have to be the only response mechanism. Some brands have played with QR codes and image recognition. Although the likes of Pepsi have seen some success with QR, they haven’t exactly caught the public imagination. However, the idea of tagging some music as a means of engagement is interesting. I think it has potential, so it would be good to see where it all goes.