Shazam! The Sound of Action

23 Jan

So often we have a great idea for a campaign, but the questions inevitably comes down to “How do we make sure it succeeds?”

The same was true for French division of Amnesty International and their recent drive to collect signatures civil rights abuses by military forces. This year the organization decided to turn each signature into a note of an ever-expanding song so that authorities could actually hear the scope of the protest.

That’s a great idea. They even got a famous Israeli musician to create the song. But how do you get the message out for people to join the effort without investing heavily in advertising?

The answer here, and so often overlooked in many campaigns, is to take the message out of advertising and engage the audience in a more organic fashion. When are you most focused on the nature of a song? When you can’t name that tune.

Amnesty International partnered with Shazam, the wildly popular mobile app that listens to a song and identifies the name and artist. Sometimes Shazam can’t work its magic. But rather than delivering its standard error message, in this case it delivered a powerful call to action:

“Valentina Rosendo Cantu could not make herself heard either. Assaulted by soldiers, she asked for justice but the authorities refused to investigate.”

With one click users could add their names to the petition. And click they did.

More than 257,000 (and climbing) signatures were gathered, a 500% increase. The resulting song was made into a CD that Amnesty International now distributes.

It was a great success, not only for the protest, but for Shazam too. While some TV ads have linked to the app for marketing efforts, this program demonstrates the utility of the program as a gateway to extended communication.

Here’s a video case study of the Shazam extension. And you’ll find the supporting web site here. But be warned, it opens with a rather unsettling animated video message.