Super Bowl 2012: A Late-Adopter Embraces Shazam

Hi, my name is Liz and I am a late-adopter. I have a tendency to wait for the fanfare to die down on a trend and for it to become part of the mainstream establishment before I conform. In college, I logged on to Facebook long after my friends, I didn’t get my first iPod until last year and I just started shopping for skinny jeans and scarfs. I have more of an “it’s better to show up to the party late, than not at all” mentality. I’m not trying to make any big social or political statement; it just takes me awhile to catch on.

Naturally, this is in direct conflict with my job at an advertising agency, where we pride ourselves on staying current and ahead of the trends. (I loosely consider myself part of that “collective”).  This year, with my new iPhone in-hand and the help of those more tech-savvy than I, I vow to stay on top of the trends. The first trend I tackled? Shazam.

Shazam is a mobile music-based service which uses a phone’s microphone to gather a brief sample of music and create an acoustic “fingerprint”. From there, the sample is compared to a database and if a match is found, it will log the music into a database (or Youtube, iTunes, Spotify) on your own phone. Shazam helps you discover and earmark new music.  The app can also identify a commercial by the music in the spot, making it “Shazam-able” and directing a user to a specific website or landing page. Think of it as an audio QR code. There are much better explanations and quantifiable research as to which I’m not going to explain, here’s an example.  (NOTE: For my purposes Wikipedia is a reliable source.)

Other than checking it off my trend list, why do I care as a consumer? Now that our beloved Packers have been knocked out of Super Bowl contention, there is nothing left to do but watch the Big Game for the commercials. And this year, one-third of all commercials will be Shazam-able, meaning that the commercial is only the start of the user experience. It’s quickly creating a QR code-like experience for the broadcast medium. Shazamable spots could take you to funny content, digital games, giveaways, recipes or contests. While we don’t know which commercials will be Shazam-able (that information will be released Feb. 2nd), I guarantee it will make the experience more interactive than ever before.

For the sake of advertising and my own viewing experience, I hope that Shazam and the new Shazam-able spots are worth all of this year’s media hype. I don’t want to be disappointed in my first “early-adopter” experience!