Last night, while watching television, I saw an ad for Old Navy that caught my attention. I was so used to seeing the Super Mannequins, when a music video came on, I assumed it was for a different product. Instead, it was Old Navy, completely redoing its current marketing strategy.
This alone would not have warranted a blog entry. Companies change their marketing structure all the time. What snared my attention was the “Shazam” logo appearing along the bottom of the commercial, with instructions to identify this song on your mobile phone for additional information. In other words, Old Navy has done a cross promotion with Shazam, and has in essence created something new:
An audible QR Code. Neat!
For those that don’t know, Shazam is an application for mobile phones that allows the user to identify a playing song’s artist, name, album, etc. It allows the user to immediately purchase the song, and more. You no longer need to say, “What’s the name of this song?” or wait in hopeful anticipation for the DJ on the radio to tell you. The software has been out for a little while now; it by itself is not new. There are other apps that do the same process; Shazam just happens to be a real popular one.
What is the implication of this new usage? Companies already pay royalties for music when they want to use it in an advertisement. Imagine not only having usage rights, but having the ability to virtually marry your product onto a song. Microsoft paid $10 million for usage of the Rolling Stone’s “Start Me Up” for the release of Windows 95. Imagine if any time anyone heard the song, and had Shazam look it up, it brought your phone to the Microsoft website? Think of the connections that could occur.
Could this become the new wave of advertising? Rather than simply using the music as background, it would become a link point to whatever the artist is currently willing to promote to? The possibilities are amazing…
I can just see it now, listening to a 50 Cent song, and my phone asks me if I want to order a case of Vitamin Water. Perhaps Shazam on a particular Counting Crows song would order me a taxi?
What interesting combinations can you think of?