In my recent Hulu AdZone article I talked about how ads online needed to step back from the “here’s the brand – now here’s the call to action” format and make their ads more entertaining, like companies do during the Super Bowl. For a long time I’ve also been saying that TV advertisers need to take a more interactive approach to their ads, and Shazam helped do just that this year.

It’s not complete interactivity, but it will have to do until everyone has a connected TV. According to a press release today from Shazam, engagement saw a huge boost thanks to their hooking up with Super Bowl advertisers and the game itself including the half-time show. Now they didn’t put out any numbers of course but they had this to day:

“The Super Bowl was our first major live network television event where we enabled people to interact with all aspects of the game, including the ads and the spectacular halftime show,” said Andrew Fisher, CEO. “Knowing the size of the Super Bowl audience, we had high expectations for how many people would be engaged during the event and with the numbers in the millions we were blown away.”

With the advent of connected TVs I think that Shazam probably won’t be able to manage this level of success because advertisers will start working interactivity right into their ads. But this is a good first step, an evolutionary one you might say.

The proliferation of second screens will continue and so Shazam will still be able to do these sorts of things, for example those who watch these live events at a friend’s place or perhaps some local watering hole. They wont have the ability to interact with the ads via the TV and so will still need that second screen to do so and that’s where Shazam will continue to fit in and remain relevant.

The fact that advertisers and the NFL had the presence of mind or perhaps the foresight to team up with Shazam on many different ways to further engage with their brands shows that they’re starting to see the true power of cross-platform advertising I think. Showing an ad on TV rarely does more than disrupt the viewing experience or offer a chance to run to the kitchen or bathroom. Now, things are starting to change and if the ads can be as engaging as they are entertaining, it could mean a great revitalization for the TV ad industry. In my mind, everyone at a TV network should be pushing for connected TV adoption because it’s what is going to keep those ads relevant and that means advertisers will continue to spend money on them. Shazam is just one avenue to interaction right now, there are others as well.

With Super Bowl ads, people used Shazam to access sweepstakes opportunities such as winning two Camrys from Toyota, unlocking exclusive content from Pepsi and donating to charity thanks to a program by With the game itself, they could see real-time statistics about the plays and players as well as participate in polls and even vote for their favorite ads. During the halftime show, in addition to the million-track giveaway, people could also get the setlist, buy music and download mobile apps from the artists.

Shazam will continue their moment and their marrying of TV content with online content as viewers can expect to see a number of exciting events, new ads and other shows that incorporate Shazam, including the 54thGRAMMY Awards on CBS on Sunday, February 12th.

Screen convergence, welcome to 2012.