Last evening, we chanced upon an Airtel advertisement from Shazam on CNBC-TV18, asking users to Shazam the advertisement for more content. Now, Shazam, is an application that is used to primarily identify music being played – you take out your phone, press a button, and Shazam identifies the music by comparing a small segment of it with its own database.

However, Shazam monetizes by partnering with advertisers and media companies. Viewers can Shazam content, whether an advertisement or a part of a TV show, to receive promotional content, contests, or value added content such as behind the scenes clips.

Airtel’s Shazam Campaign

As a part of its long running “Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hain” (every single friend is important/necessary), Airtel appears to be running a campaign which can be Shazam’ed.

On Shazaming, we got the following screen on the Shazam app:


We tried a few of the options: the free gift on offer is one of three mobile VAS services – “My song my story”, “Mobile Movies”, “Cricket Mobile Magazine”, the view airtel campaigns option takes users to YouTube. The download JMH ringtone option didn’t work for me (perhaps connectivity issues with Airtel).

Keep in mind that Telibrahma recently launched an application which allows users to do something similar by pointing the application towards the TV screen, and via a process similar to QR Codes, getting access to value added content. Shazam is a particularly significant player in this space, and we just might see more interactivity on TV and Radio, once both these companies start making a greater push, pitching their services to advertisers as a means of driving engagement. Also keep in mind Times Internet and Hindustan Times‘ augmented reality application initiatives: this just might be the year that true-blue cross-media promotions take root.

As as aside: I use Shazam almost daily, to identify music that I come across on the Radio, TV, or even in restaurants; for example, Night Over Manaus by Boozoo Bajou was playing in the coffee shop of The Lalit (where the India Digital Summit was taking place) at 2:14 pm.