Pillsbury Targets Tech-Savvy Mom With App Campaign

PillsburyGeneral Mills’ Pillsbury believes the generation of moms raised on email, Web and texting are also ready to use their smartphones to activate a TV spot. A new TV campaign for the brand’s Crescent baked goods can be recognized by the popular Shazam smartphone app to trigger mobile screens full of complementary content.

The packaged goods maker is trying to show moms how the familiar Crescent dough can be used in a number of different ways. “A 15- or 30-second commercial is great to inspire people, but Pillsbury saw an opportunity to use Shazam to get people to learn more and get recipes,” says Evan Krauss, executive vice president, advertising sales, Shazam.

A specific call to action in the Pillsbury spot instructs the Shazam user to open the app and allow the audio recognition technology to capture the cue and deliver the content in an HTML5 format. The publisher is bringing app-like functionality to the second-screen sponsor content.



This is the ninth month in which Shazam for TV is offering advertisers the ability to synchronize on-air creative with the media discovery app. The company has been developing relationships with TV networks and shows in these second-screen efforts to activate the living room display with mobile phone complements.

Starting with Old Navy, 24 campaigns have gone live since early in the year.

When Shazam users do have their apps active during synchronized ads, 65% of them engage with the app content. Claiming an installed base of 53 million in the U.S., Krauss says the number of people keeping their Shazam apps open to capture complementary programming and ad content is accelerating: “Tens of thousands a day per spot, which is significantly higher than it was just six months ago,” he says.

The Pillsbury Crescent spots will run through the holiday season.

As with the Pillsbury spots, ads with specific calls to Shazam action are most effective, Krauss says, and retail brands have seen especially strong results. The original Old Navy campaign moves 27% of the people who activated the ad with Shazam to shop on the site. In a new deal with USA Network show “Covert Action” and Delivery Agent, Shazam will serve contextually relevant products for purchase to viewers as they watch the program. “If you like an outfit you can shop the look of the show,” Krauss says.

The number of second-screen apps trying to work with on-air content is growing quickly. The market is quickly becoming cluttered with entertainment check-in apps like GetGlue, audio synching apps like Yahoo’s IntoNow and Umami, and apps from both the networks and individual programs.

Krauss says Shazam’s scale is getting them meetings with brands, as well as active partnerships with TV programmers to get exclusive content from shows to put on the second screen. “We think sharing is good,” he says. There will be room for multiple apps working with the main TV screen and serving different kinds of audiences.

“When shows develop their own app, that is for the super-fan,” he says, but they are not going to capture all of a program’s likely viewers. “There will be the huge-reach apps like Shazam, and then also smaller apps that will be really good at one or two things but don’t have the [our] distribution or partnerships.”

In recent research from Yahoo and Razorfish, more than 80% of mobile phone users reported engaging in some mobile activity while watching TV.

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