Admit it: The QR Code is never going to catch on with mainstream users. (Hell, it’s barely getting used by advertisers, and we’ll try anything once.) Asking people to download and use a 3rd party app so they can scan a code to get mysterious content related to an ad is a bit much, and until Apple decides to include a QR code scanning app with every iPhone, they’re just not going to get used by more than a fringe minority of the mobile audience.
That said, the reason advertisers want QR codes to take off is clear: We live in an increasingly mobile world, and with campaigns spreading across multiple mediums, there needs to be an easy way to connect analog content with digital content so we can create a more interactive and immersive experience.
While NFC holds promise as a potential solution, it requires broad adoption by phone manufacturers, and there’s little indication we’ll see that any time soon.
So is it time to face the facts and admit that it will never be easy to connect ads to a mobile experience?
Shazam debuted as an app that recognizes the audio from music and reports back on what song is currently playing. The technology has since been repurposed by companies like Old Navy, General Mills and News Corp. to recognize commercials, allowing viewers to tag the audio of a spot and receive additional content from the brand.
If you haven’t experienced one of these enhanced ads, check out this Pillsbury Crescents commercial which returns recipes to users who Shazam the ad when prompted:
While this works well in a controlled environment like the living room, there’s no reason the same technology can’t be used in other places to connect ads to a mobile device.
See where I’m going with this?
Calvin Klein recently teamed up with Shazam to create in-store sound installations, and proved that the process can be used for more than just tagging TV.
The interaction is simple: When a customer is near the branded podium, they open the Shazam app and scan the song that’s playing through the speaker. In return, they receive exclusive content like in-store promotions, a complimentary download of an exclusive song, and a Calvin Klein holiday wallpaper for their mobile device.
According to David Jones, VP of Marketing at Shazam:
Calvin Klein is an iconic fashion brand known across the globe, and Shazam is incredibly excited to work with them on their new holiday campaign and in-store sound installations. Shazam