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John Lewis using Shazam to hijack rivals’ campaigns

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With the Christmas ad campaigns well under way, it’s not just the nation’s TV screens where the retail heavyweights are slogging it out.

The unusual battleground of iPhone and Android music recognition app, Shazam, has seen retail rivals try to hijack each others Christmas adverts.

For those unaware, Shazam is a handy little app that listens for tags in songs, after approximately 10 seconds, it is able to tell you which song is playing and by which artist.

Shazam is free and as a result, to subsidise the development costs, ads are shown alongside the apps results.

It’s these ads that the retailers are using to get one up on the competition. Recognising that many smartphone owners will use their devices to identify the song used in an advert, John Lewis has begun displaying its advert banners underneath the songs used by its rivals in their adverts.

Both Julie London’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, as used by Marks & Spencer, and Paul McCartney and the Frog Chorus’s ‘We all Stand Together’, which features in Debenhams’ festive campaign, appear with John Lewis’ Monty the Penguin ad banner underneath in a sly attempt to get to customers.

As Shazam VP Miles Lewis points out, rival retailers may have missed a trick by not securing the ad placements against their TV spots.

“The debate we’re having with agencies and clients is – you’ve spent all this time on SEO perfecting and protecting your brand but now there’s this new frontier,” he told Marketing Magazine. He adds, “Audio IP is a new development, and some agencies and clients see this as an opportunity. Why would you let a rival brand buy that?”

This is not the first time something like this has happened, with Marks and Spencer having been accused of the same thing in 2012, when those searching for ‘The Power of Love’ by Gabrielle Aplin, the song used in John Lewis’ 2012 Christmas ad, were greeted by a full page M&S advert.

Figures released yesterday show that the Marks and Spencer’s ad has been ‘Shazamed’ 2,500 times while John Lewis’ has been tagged more than 20,000 times.

Published on Tuesday 18 November by Editorial Assistant
Tags: Shazam

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