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The Social World of Television


Television is changing once again. Not the actual size, resolution, or quality (although it’s only a matter of time) – but the content within television programs. Television viewers are now finding new ways to engage with shows, commercials, and the businesses within them. Recent examples include Shazam CTA’s, GetGlue TV check-ins, and hashtags established for specific shows. In other words, television is turning into an overall social experience for every viewer.

Question: What do Old Navy and Progressive Insurance have in common? Answer: Shazam.

The popular music recognition mobile app, Shazam, has recently expanded its service to provide businesses with a new form of advertising. Over the past few weeks, both Old Navy and Progressive Insurance have been implementing a Shazam call-to-action on their television commercials.

I first came across these commercials over the last week, when I caught myself watching the latest Old Navy commercial for their recently launched Getaway Dresses line. Within the first ten seconds of the catchy tune and summer theme, I noticed a Shazam logo appear with the words “Shazam To Shop”. Being an online marketer, I was compelled to do what the commercial asked. Thanks to DVR and my previously-downloaded iPhone app, I was able to successfully Shazam the commercial. (Click to watch.)

What appeared on my phone next was the regular links Shazam offers (iTunes store, share, etc.) at the bottom, with a “See the Looks” link. As you can see below, tapping this option allows you to shop this clothing line without having to leave the Shazam application.

Progressive Insurance has recently done the same with their television commercials. As the infamous “Flo” spokeswoman goes along her daily routine to sell customers the lowest rates in car insurance, the Shazam CTA once again appeared in the bottom-right side of the screen. As I reacted, the application once again provided me with options including a “Call for a Free Quote” link.

This new Shazam integration with television commercials opens new doors in advertising. In some sense, this CTA acts as an ad within an ad – but one that users can save in their mobile phones. Now businesses can keep the initial messaging of the commercial light, and drive the user to further engage through Shazam.

Glued To Your Entertainment

GetGlue, the check-in service for entertainment programs, has been referred to as “the Foursquare of multimedia” and is making waves in the online world. Users watching their favorite TV shows can check-in and receive a sticker. This reward was the way GetGlue had users engage with its service.

As GetGlue advances its service, newer deals are becoming available. New rewards have been suggested from the company, for viewers who express dedication to a specific show or movie franchise. For example, if a user checks-in to every single episode of a season, they could be eligible for discounts on the DVD box set.

This new form of check-ins further engages the viewer with their favorite television shows and series, while the network gets a feel for how well their shows are resonating with viewers. As of right now, we can only wait and see how GetGlue further establishes itself in the multimedia space.

“What is the hashtag for this show?”

Many people tend to get hooked on a television series with friends; this is part of the experience. Until recently, friends would often get together in time for the latest showing of the episode, and gush over the most recent drama all under one roof. With the rapid growth of Twitter and its impact on viewers worldwide, this “group-viewing” setting now falls second to live-tweeting as the episode airs.

The majority of television shows have now established a hashtag for the Twitter world to develop conversations around as each episode airs. While the previously-mentioned “group-viewing” setting has become somewhat obsolete, viewers can remain looped-in on real-time conversations surrounding theses shows.

What seems like a simple element to incorporate into television, makes a huge difference. Having a predetermined hashtag for viewers to follow and engage with during their favorite shows builds an online community and gives the network immediate feedback on their shows.

Each of these new strategies show the potential television still holds in marketing and advertising. With the exponential growth of social media in just a few short years, the collaboration between traditional and online media will once again change the way businesses share their message.


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