Shazam: Taking QR Codes to the Next Level

Shazam has been a popular app for smartphone users for several years now, but recently I have noticed the Shazam icon pop up in several television commercials. When the Shazam logo appears in the corner of the screen, viewers can use their smartphone to be redirected to the advertiser’s site for more information. This is very similar to the way advertisers have been able to take advantage of QR code technology. Since we live in a multi-screen world, this seems like a very convenient way to deliver more advertising content to potential consumers, but I have often wondered, are these means successful or does every advertiser have one just because every other advertiser does?

From the perspective of someone working in the advertising field, this seems like a simple and inexpensive way to deliver more content to potential consumers. But off the clock, I have never seen an advertisement and felt the need to pull out my smart phone, open Shazam/QR Reader, scan the audio/code and view more content. I am more of an “I’ll Google that when I get home” kind of guy. So does this sort of coding produce higher volumes of traffic?

Research from the 4A’s suggests that 1 in 3 smartphone or tablet users have scanned a QR code at least once and a study done by comScore Inc shows that QR codes perform best in newspapers and magazines. I have often wondered if people simply scan these codes because they are simply marveled by the technology or if they genuinely interested in engaging with the brand. A case study I was able to find on Shazam’s website gave the following statistics:

  • Brand interaction – 68% of people who tagged the ad went on to further engage with the brand.
  • Word of Mouth / Social Activity – 55% of people who tagged the ad talked about the brand with others.
  • Bookmarking for later use – 55% of the people who used Shazam to tag the ad cited that one of the reasons they did so was to save it for later.

So it looks like coded messaging has proven to be a successful means of generating more branding opportunities. I feel that the key to a successful coding campaign would be to get the ad in front of the right people. If advertisers are getting their coded message in front of the right people, there would be a higher chance that they would choose to participate.

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