Will Shazam’s Image Search Bridge the Print/Digital Advertising Gap?

May 29, 2015

6:00 pm

Shazam’s recently launched image search enables users to use the well-known music recognition app to view a new interactive digital world.

Similar to the concept behind QR Codes, this new take on image search asks users to scan the physical print; such as a movie poster, to activate an immersion.

What’s new about it?

The image search function is used in conjunction with promotional materials which feature the Shazam symbol. This format promises to transform how a brand can interact with users whether it’s through websites, videos, photos or even mini-games. Ultimately, the augmented reality world moves the user from real world adverts to digital ones.

Poster printing specialist Ro-Am Posters comment that: “while paper printing isn’t falling out favour for brand advertising, clients are continually looking to bridge the gap between their physical adverts and their digital equivalents”.

Is this just QR codes all over again?

Unlike QR codes, these codes can be implemented and spotted sporadically on brochures, stickers and posters like more ominous bar codes.

Until now, creating immersive media accessible through mobile devices has simply been the prerogative of exclusive fields of brands.

Much like how Disney has partnered with Shazam on Tomorrowland’s immersive world, Marvel comics in 2012 released augmented reality (AR) for its comic books.

Initially an exclusive for print purchasers of weekly comics, giving background on creating the comics and bonus story, it has now become available through the digital version also. This equalising from Marvel suggests that the AR wasn’t giving Marvel increased paper copy sales.

So, will any brand every be able to fully take advantage of modern technologies and bridge the gap between their print and digital advertising? For now it seems unlikely, but serious partnerships like Disney and Shazam could  herald the start of augmented reality becoming the norm.

Image Credit: Flickr/Daniele Devoti

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Simon Davies is a London based freelance writer with an interest in startup culture, issues and solutions.

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