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Beam Suntory first launch partner to test Shazam?s AR solution for brands

Premium spirits company Beam Suntory is the first launch partner for Shazam?s massively scaled augmented reality platform for brands, which will deliver experiences including 3D animations and product visualizations.

Shazam originally launched visual-recognition functionality in 2015, intending to deploy it in service to brands and artists looking to connect users to custom AR content. It seems that Shazam is hoping that AR will eventually constitute a cornerstone of a visual recognition strategy largely aimed at brands, one that complements its song recognition technology primarily aimed at consumers.

"We have learned a lot over the past two years doing visual," said Greg Glenday, chief revenue officer at Shazam. "We now have a very reliable set of best practices so we know with some confidence what will make people participate. 

"You need a clear call to action," he said. "You have to tell consumers that there is something of value behind this experience. 

"Then, just as important is the payoff itself. If the experience isn't valuable to a consumer, why would they do it? Coupons, voting, 'enter to win,' games, content ? there are tons of things to do that would make these experiences sticky."

Suntory time
Shazam?s new platform will look to bring specially branded marketing materials to life through the AR platform, including products, packaging, POS, advertising and events. Users will leverage the Shazam app to scan unique Shazam Codes, which will be capable of delivering AR experiences including 3D animations, product visualizations, mini-games and 360-degree videos.

The partnership between Shazam and Beam Suntory will involve an AR experience enticing users legal purchase age and older to Shazam Sauza or Hornitos Tequila. Across the U.S. and starting in April, users who visually Shazam in-store creative will have the chance to play a co-branded AR interactive memory game.

Courtesy of Shazam

The AR platform is being described as a ?rewarded gamification experience at point of purchase.? Marketing for Suntory?s tequila brands will be focused on the Cinco de Mayo holiday, and AR will offer a way to ?break through the Cinco de Mayo advertising clutter.? 

The Shazam app?s newest capabilities come about through a partnership with Zappar to deliver the code-scanning technology behind Shazam Codes as well as the platform's immersive and expressive short form mobile experiences. Shazam AR works with all iOS or Android devices.

Song recognition software
Shazam has been undergoing something of a rebrand as of late, and the AR platform is just one cog in an expansion of its services from purely song recognition to visual recognition, as well. 

Snapchat's Shazam integration

Late last year, it provided Android users with a slimmed down version of its application in response to backlash after its original became more of a burden than a benefit with too many features. Shazam Lite occupies less than 1MB of memory, using little data and a user experience that is reflective of the purpose the app was originally meant for (see story). 

And the app closed 2016 with a high-profile integration with Snapchat, which makes it possible for users to Shazam from within Snapchat by pressing and holding on the Snapchat camera screen when music is playing nearby (see story).

?One of the things missing from augmented reality for advertisers has been a frictionless way to deliver these experiences at scale,? Mr. Glenday said. ?Because Shazam has such a massive install base, and consumers are already accustomed to using the app for discovery ? we have now solved that problem. 

"The possibilities for a brand to bring their products to life or make their advertising more engaging are quite literally only limited by the imagination.?