Shazam Users Won’t Be Able to Escape Fox’s Marketing Campaign for New Game Show ‘Beat Shazam’

New York billboards, select print ads will feature augmented reality

Fox is incorporating augmented reality via Shazam into some of its New York billboards for Beat Shazam. Fox
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If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Fox is rolling out a marketing campaign for Beat Shazam, its new game show based on the popular song-identification app, that relies heavily on the functionality of Shazam itself, including augmented reality.

In the Jamie Foxx-hosted game show, which debuts May 25, two-person teams will face off and try to be the first to identify hit songs. Then, the team that earns the most money each episode will face off against the Shazam app itself to try and win the grand prize.

The marketing campaign for Beat Shazam will incorporate the app’s audio and visual recognition capabilities as much as the show itself does, as the on-air, print, outdoor, radio and digital campaigns will all be Shazam-enabled.

Fox is using augmented reality for some of its print and outdoor activations, and it’s the first time a network has incorporated augmented reality via Shazam into those assets.

The ads will feature unique Shazam codes that let users access a play-along AR experience, in which Foxx will challenge fans to beat Shazam by guessing the name of the featured song.

The New York Beat Shazam billboards will appear in New York’s Penn Plaza and Times Square, while print ads featuring AR will run in People, Entertainment Weekly and Us Weekly the week of May 12.

The Penn Plaza activation, where Penn Station and Madison Square Garden connect, will include 18 pieces of media stretching three city blocks and will reach an estimated 650,000 people a day. “Once the Beat Shazam activation finishes, more people will have traveled through the area than Newark, LaGuardia and JFK airports combined,” said Shannon Ryan, evp, marketing and communications, Fox Television Group.

It was “imperative” that Shazam be incorporated so extensively into the marketing campaign, said Greg Glenday, chief revenue officer, Shazam. “Beat Shazam is literally bringing the Shazam app to life, so what better way to help promote it than bringing an AR version of Jamie Foxx to life off of the two-dimensional outdoor campaign?”

Shazam has never been such a major part of a marketing campaign before. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime partnership, where the brand is built into the show, and the functionality ​of the final rounds mimic the Shazam app,” Glenday said. “Add in our play-at-home experience and this might be the most natural, organic and logical co-marketing campaign ever.”

All of the on-air TV spots for Beat Shazam, including the one below, will be Shazam-enabled and will send viewers to the Shazam app, where they can participate in game play related to the song in the promo or to other Beat Shazam content where they can play more rounds.

The social media content and radio spots will also use Shazam to link to the game’s play-along features and other information about the show.

One of the biggest elements of the marketing campaign will appear in the app itself. Starting May 8, whenever anyone Shazams a song on the U.S. app, they will receive a link to take part in Beat Shazam game play.

The marketing campaign continues a relationship between Fox and Shazam that began when Shazam told the network it was interested in creating a program around its app. “We put Jeff Apploff, the executive producer, together with them, and he developed a format. It’s really fun game play and taps into music, which is very much a part of the Fox brand,” said Dana Walden, chairman and CEO, Fox Television Group, noting that very few brands could organically have an entire network show built around them. “From American Idol to Glee to Empire to Star, we own this space.”

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.