Shazam Keeps it Real with Wyclef

Wyclef Jean performs

Wyclef Jean is engaging fans with Shazam’s AR app with rollout of J’ouvert.

Shazam leverages Wyclef Jean’s new EP drop to debut its AR platform. The Fugees lead alum headlines SWXW’s “How Did Shazam Get Wyclef in AR on My Phone?!” March 15.

The new massively scaled augmented reality (AR) platform is the next generation of which is the next generation of the Shazam’s visual recognition feature, launched in 2015 to provide custom content using mobile technology.

When Shazam app users scan their mobile cameras over images embedded with custom code,  everything from products, packaging, POS, advertising, events and artists spring to life, though AR experiences including 3D animations, product visualizations, mini-games and 360-degree videos.

“With the rapid rise of augmented reality, it is a natural evolution for Shazam to be a first-mover in delivering AR at scale.” said Shazam CEO Rich Riley, who said the move was a natural after advertisers responded well to visual recognition.

Beam Suntory, Inc. — the brand behind Sauza and Hornitos tequila — has signed on for the AR launch, and starting in April will allow users who visually Shazam in-store creative to engage in “rewarded gamification” leading up to Cinco de Mayo.

Shazam provides Wyclef Jean live -- almost. (Photo by Sade Hill)

Wyclef Jean makes an appearance at the polls for LA’s municipal elections, courtesy Shazam’s new AR app. (Photo by Sade Hill)

When you tap and scan with a mobile camera, Jean appears, performing “The Ring,” from his 13-song J’ouvert EP, released last month. The songs were teased out as singles last year, including“I Swear,” featuring Young Thug, who homaged the Haitian born singer with the song “Wyclef Jean”).

Whipped out at a polling station during LA’s March 7 municipal election, the Shazam AR clip created a mini sensation (more so than any of the ballot candidates, which bodes well for Jean’s political future; he tried to get on the ballot for Haiti’s 2010 election, and J’ouvert includes the song “If I Was President 2016.” If  only!)

“One of the things missing from augmented reality for advertisers has been a frictionless way to deliver these experiences at scale,” said Shazam CRO Greg Glenday, who will co-present the session with Jean at SXSW. “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.”

In September, privately-held Shazam announced it achieved profitability, and its billionth mobile download. Snapchat integration and the Mark Burnett TV show “Beat Shazam!”with Jamie Foxx, are other recent highlights for the music discovery service, which is positioning this new tech app as “the first scaled AR solution for artists and brands worldwide.”

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