Maybe I’m an old soul, or maybe it’s my childhood education in southern television, but when I hear the word “Shazam,” I’m more likely to think of Gomer Pyle (see also – this video) than the music-identification app…and I’m starting to think that “music-identification” might not be an accurate description of this application.

In the past month, I’ve seen Shazam evolve into something simultaneously impressive and terrifying. It all started during the Community finale, when another one of those ear-wormy, musical Old Navy commercials aired, and in the corner, the Shazam logo appeared with directions: “Shazam to Shop.” Since then, I’ve seen a bunch of other, less musical commercials hop on the Shazam train. The worst “offender?” Progressive.

The closest thing to music in that commercial was Flo’s lyrical voice (I kinda love Flo)…but it’s definitely not what Shazam was made for. I always figured Shazam was created for people in bars who needed to identify songs (or in the case of someone I knew about three years ago, to cheat in Name That Tune). The part of me that thinks fondly of Gomer Pyle is extremely hesitant to approve of this use of Shazam, but that part of me is definitely the minority in the Republic of Sarah (In a universe where all bodies are like the bodies in Osmosis Jones, I’m the Republic and I’m tri-partisan. The Nostalgics are in the minority, along with Sports Fanatics. The majority party is the Feminist-Modernist-Teleponder-ers…three parties that merged in 2003).

The rest of me LOVES this use of Shazam. I’m all for television becoming more interactive (I’m also pro-smell-o-vision), and this is definitely a step in the right direction. Advertisers have always dreamed of being able to get consumers to act the instant they see a commercial and now they actually have the ability to make that happen.

My dream use for Shazam, however, is for non-profits. How great would it be if non-profits could use Shazam in their commercials to get donations or to give viewers access to more information? I know that’s not the money-making use that Shazam is currently pushing, but maybe once Progressive, Old Navy and all those businesses have put Shazam in the black, they’ll offer their services to better causes (not that $5 cami’s and car insurance aren’t good causes).

P.S. Just had to squeeze in a bit more Andy Griffith nostalgia for you:


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