Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Following our “Building a Music Brand with QR Codes” post, we have continued to track the incredible success of the UK’s latest music sensation, Labrinth.  If you haven’t heard of Labrinth yet, you certainly will do.  He has raced into the UK charts with his single release ‘Let the Sun Shine’ , currently occupying No. 2 spot in the UK  iTunes download chart.  He’s destined to top the charts within the next week, as the single, which was officially released at the weekend gets more play time on the UK’s radio stations.

Labrinth originally came to our attention, having come across the pre-launch social media campaign, devised by London based Digital Marketing agency, Punktilio.  The campaign stood out, as it centred around the use of QR Codes in the creation of the Labrinth brand and the use of QR Codes across the social media platforms like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube & Twitter.  As an aside, we reported that at the beginning of September, Labrinth had attracted 316,413 channel views on his YouTube site – this figure has now rocketed to a staggering 1,293,800, proving the awesome power of Social Media in today’s modern world of marketing a musician’s brand.

The advertising campaign for Labrinth’s single hit the streets of London at the weekend, with a massive urban ad campaign using QR Codes once again.  All across London, we saw Labrinth posters featuring QR Codes, which resolved to a specific page that offered free downloads from the Labrinth web site..  They appeared in every conceivable place from pedestrian crossings to shop windows.

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This form of urban advertising is a radical move for the UK music industry, but one that fits perfectly with the Labrinth brand and also with his already massive fan base.  It’s widely recognised that there is a natural fit with the youth market and their use of Mobile technology, which adds significant weight to the Love Affair between Music and QR Codes.

It was also great to see Labrinth using QR Codes as a response mechanism on his official poster advertising as well.  If you look closely enough, you’ll see a QR Code (with instructions) on the bottom left hand corner of this poster (Click image to enlarge).

QRazystuff.com is really excited about this brave foray into the use of Mobile Bar Codes by the music industry.  There are significant opportunities for the world’s music industry to embrace the youth market through their communications channel of choice ‘Mobile’ .  QR Codes, and perhaps more importantly update-able QR Tags can deliver new and exciting means of brands engaging with their fans via the Mobile channel.

Labrinth is not only known as a leading Music producer and solo artist, but has also made the headlines recently, as one of the coolest fashion icons in the music industry.  He recently appeared at London Fashion Week and has been quoted as “implementing uniqueness into his day to day wear”.  The ‘uniqueness’ comment is also reflected in his management’s approach to advertising as well.

If Labrinth’s management team wished to extend the use of QR Codes and fashion, we’ll be waiting by the phone for that merchandising deal!  We’ve been quoted before in our Blog promoting the idea of musicians using QR Tagged clothing or other merchandise to not only promote a unique style of merchandising, but also providing a means of promoting targeted messaging to a loyal fan base. Wait…. is that the phone ringing?

Meantime, “Let the Sun Shine”…

P.S  When Labrinth’s management team want to get in touch, full contact details are on our web site

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The Music world has yet again been actively using QR Codes to engage with its audience and this time, the advertising world not only spotted the wild goings on, but also handed over a prestigious Cannes Lions Gold Award for their efforts..

Hong Kong’s Zoo Records is a celebrated alternative music store dedicated to breaking the monopoly of mainstream music, and exposing the public to the world of alternative sound.  As part of their latest urban advertising campaign, they teamed up with global ad agency, Leo Burnett to create a truly wild campaign to promote the country’s alternative Indie music scene.

Leo Burnett’s understanding of the brief, recognised the natural fit of QR Codes and the world of Music, providing the youth market with a means of interacting with urban advertising in return for rich & relevant media content through their mobile phones.

The ‘Hidden Sounds’ QR Code campaign focussed on promoting 14 indie bands (the hidden sounds) for Zoo Records. The QR Codes were assembled into the shapes of animals that live hidden in the city and posted all over the streets of Hong Kong.  People who scanned the QR Codes in the animals with their mobiles were rewarded with band info and refreshing new songs. By scanning different parts of the animals, they could listen to different songs, exploring all the hidden sounds of the city. They could also buy any of the songs directly from their mobile, as well as share it on Facebook and other social media.

The results of this amazingly creative campaign were staggering.  The campaign was considered a resounding success by the volume of sharing on blogs and social networks and the fact that more than half of the 14 bands sold out their albums within the first week.  The campaign’s success was due to a number of contributing factors (as are all successful ad campaigns), however, the very fact that Leo Burnett created a campaign that included intrigue, interaction & valuable reward through the audiences channel of choice has to be recognised as outstanding – certainly the Judges at Europe’s largest advertising awards thought so!

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The content for this article was originally brought to our attention by Roger Smolski on his outstanding QR Code blog – http://2d-code.co.uk/

Over recent months we have been tracking a Music Artist, Labrinth who is destined to become the next UK artist to hit the big time.   Our interest in this particular artist, apart from the fact he has been signed up by Simon Cowell’s label ‘SYCO Music’, was originally sparked by his use of Mobile Bar Codes (QR Codes) in Lab’s brand advertising.

SYCO Music engaged London based Digital Marketing Agency, Punktillo, to develop a sophisticated online marketing campaign, to establish the Labrinth brand in readiness for the release of his first Single – ‘Let The Sun Shine’ which goes on sale on 26th September 2010.  The campaign has been running for at least 2 months and crossed all Social Media platforms, including; YouTubeFacebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Content Manager Leif Johnson at Punktillo, told QRazystuff “The thing QR codes do for Labrinth is at first glance they look like a ‘Labyrinth’ or maze. So this has made things a little easier for us due the the QR Codes initial aesthetic. Labrinth is best known as a producer and the genius behind Tinie Tempha’s ‘Pass Out’ and ‘Frisky’. To start with Labrinth was practically faceless which we used to our advantage by implementing the QR Codes as a way to get to the enigma that is Labrinth. So keeping him illusive and using a QR Code on his facebook rather than a picture of Labrinth himself helped make people use the QR Codes to find out more.”

Central to the brand building exercise has been the use of Video content to deliver the brand message and enable viral video messaging to drive up Labrinth’s following in readiness for his Single release.  The Labrinth YouTube channel already has 651 subscribers and 316,413 channel views.  The first in a series of videos features an animated Labrinth character using QR Codes to deliver hidden messages and set up a campaign that will ultimately engage a mobile savvy audience with the Labrinth brand.

Leif continued, “For the past few months we’ve had to create online content for Labrinth because his single ‘Let The Sun Shine’ was still not released. So we made a series of viral videos with one off tracks produced by Labrinth that you can be linked to via QR Codes. Plus at the end of these videos there are QR Codes that direct people to the facebook, twitter or just secret messages about up and coming shows or the single release.”

Labrinth’s Facebook Page also consistently features QR Codes, which resolve to all manner of relevant content.  Codes have included Competition Entry, Secret Messaging & Video content and we’ve been lead to believe this is just the start of it for Labrinth and QR Codes.

The latest in the series of videos, which was shot at the V Festival demonstrates the QR Code messaging Leif refers to, whereby the QR Code at the end of the transmission resolves to a data collection site for followers to sign up to Labrinth’s newsletters.

Leif concluded “We also had a T-Shirt made to get the idea of QR Codes out there for his performance with Tinie Tempah at T4 on the beach. QR codes are the link to Labrinth’s world and QR Code users will be rewarded for scanning them. Looking forward that’s all we can say as future QR Code ideas are to be kept well and truly under our hats.”

From our perspective, it’s great to see yet another twist in the marriage between Music & QR Codes, this time we applaud Leif and his team at Punktillo for not only delivering a well planned and perfectly executed Social Media campaign, but also for recognising that Labrinth’s target audience will be Mobile savvy and will engage with Mobile Bar Codes, providing there is relevant content waiting for them behind the codes.

Hopefully sometime soon we will see Labrinth hitting the Music industry headlines with a QR Code or two in sight – perhaps we might see a QRazystuff Hoodie on Labrinth or perhaps even Simon Cowell…

Preview the “Let The Sun Shine” Single

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Online Fashion Store Launches with Wearable Social Media

Imagine pulling out your Mobile and using it as a scanner to download videos, pictures, the latest news story or even someone’s social media status. Well, welcome to a truly digital world, because we’re already there.

Combining this vision with fashion has lead to the launch of the UK’s first QR Code online clothing retailer – QRazystuff.com.  This high tech fashion is about to hit the streets of the UK in the form of personalised t-shirts and hoodies that interact with your mobile phone.

QRazystuff.com today launched its online shop, selling their very latest fashion range, which contain personalised QR Tags (2d barcodes), which when scanned by a mobile phone will launch the owners choice of online media on the viewers mobile phone.

The technology behind the range works with a host of mobile phone bar code apps, with each QRazystuff T-Shirt or Hoodie being unique to its owner.  A simple scan of the QR Tag will launch the phone’s web browser, directing the viewer to a web site, social media site or text based message of the owner’s choice.  What’s more, the owner can change the destination of their tag whenever they want via the QRazystuff.com web site.

The QRazystuff.com web site allows customers to add a strap-line to the clothing as well.  At the time of launch, QRazystuff will be offering some neat strapline designs as well as allowing the customer to write a witty strapline text of their own.

The possibilities for using these wearable tags are endless and pretty much down to the imagination of the owner.  As the content of the Tag can be changed, your clothing can even reflect your mood.  Members simply access the QRazystuff web site and update the content of their tag online, so one day the Tag might direct to your Facebook profile and the next to a YouTube video or picture you want to share with the world.

QRazystuff.com is the brainchild of UK based entrepreneurs, Martin Rides & Grant Bloomfield, who told us “having seen the explosion of these bar-codes in Japan over recent years and also seeing increased use of them in the US, we saw an opportunity to popularise them in fashion.  They are different and you certainly get noticed when out and about.  It’s also a fun way of displaying your personality or your online presence with the world.  We’re developing the web site, so that members of the QRazyClub can update their tag content whenever they like and also keep a track of how many times their tag has been scanned.  Our plans for the club, whilst under wraps at the moment include; QRazyClub mash ups and some cool real-life gaming ideas.”

There’s something quite appealing about this youth fashion..  The concept of owning your own Tag and having control over its content has the potential to explode in today’s tech savvy youth market.  The company has some grand plans for the coming months, with some high profile activity in the music industry as well as venturing into high street retail market. It is certainly one to watch!

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About QRazystuff Limited

QRazystuff is UK based start up internet clothing retailer working in the mobile phone technology sector. QRazystuff produces a range of personalised clothing, which interact with mobile bar code reader applications on mobile platforms such as; iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile amongst others.  QRazystuff products use 2d bar codes known as Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) at the heart of the technology.  These bar codes were developed by Denso Wave in the mid 1990’s for car part tracking within the Toyota car manufacturing operations.  They have since been used in wide scale advertising by the likes of Google, Pepsi UK and Nike.  QRazystuff.com has been designed using Cloud based computing technologies at its core and offers a variety of unique services to its members, including the ability to change the content & ultimate web destination of the owners Tag and also monitor scan metrics via an online membership dashboard.

Reader Download

To get a QR Code reader send a SMS (text message) containing i-nigma to: +44 7797 882325 and you will be sent the link to the software.  Or Visit http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software/

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They may not seem like automatic bed-fellows, but the music industry seems to be falling head over heals in love with these secretive bar codes.

QR Codes made their first appearance in a Pet Shop Boys music video, way back in 2008.  The video for ‘Integral’ included brief glimpses of QR Codes throughout the animation.  Analysing the content of these codes, played back a serious message about the groups feelings to do with the ‘Privacy’ & the UK Government’s proposals to introduce ID Cards.  Funny how ‘Privacy’ issues are still a hot topic in 2010…

When an artist or band starts to develop the journey they want their fans to follow in the lead up to a tour or major album release, you’ll find a clear path of advertising leading up to the final sale.

Let’s consider a band wanting to publicise the release of their latest album..   It may start with promotions featuring their latest YouTube video, or a sample iTunes download.  Perhaps, the next stop on the advertising journey might be a RingTone download or some sexy mobile wallpaper.  Ultimately, the journey might have many stops, including upsell and cross sell opportunities, but in the end the fan will end up at the point of purchase, be it a gig ticket or a music download for the album (or both).

This all sounds like a very one sided relationship, until you consider how a QR Tag might bring this journey to life. Mobile Music fans will see promotional advertising with a living Tag.  Newspaper advertisements, bill posters, flyers, urban ads or even a MySpace or Facebook profile pic all displaying their ‘living tag’ – channelling mobile content to their audience whilst out and about..  How about if the gig merchandising also contained QRTagged clothing?  Not only would the bands gain revenue from the merchandising sales, but also have control over the QR messaging within the clothing their fans are wearing – now there’s a QRazyIdea!  What’s more the content can be dynamically updated to reflect any changes the marketing guys might want to tweak.

With more and more musical content being delivered to the mobile channel, bands and artists need to consider the mechanisms by which their fans will interact with their promotional material – QR Tags, seem the ideal choice from where we’re sitting…

In June 2010, we saw the latest glimpse of QR Codes in the Music world.  This time, it came from Kylie Minogue with the release of ‘All the Lovers’ an extract from her forthcoming Album “Aphrodite” .  The opening of the video shows two glimpses of QR Codes, one on a Milk Bottle, the other on a Coffee Cup.  Someone, much better qualified than the QRazystuff team has managed to decode the images, which we are told resolve to ‘LOVE’ – how topical is that!

When you start to consider the opportunities for this romance to blossom, you’ll have to agree that this love affair has the potential to become a beautiful and long lasting marriage…

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Well, after what seems like an eternity, we can finally see light at the end of the tunnel…  The past few months have been extremely busy ones, working tirelessly with creating the QRazystuff brand and selling QR Codes to the masses.  Earlier in the week, we had a status meeting with the web designers and finalised a launch date for QRazystuff.com.

Now the fun really begins, between now and the end of July 2010 (launch date), we will be increasing our promotional activity in the advertising world as well as sorting out the finishing touches to the end to end order process.  At this point, I think it is fair to say, that we did not fully understand how complex it is to… create a personalised QR Tag, add some personalised detail to a garment, create the artwork, manage the print, fulfilment & postage processes, which are just some of the component parts of producing, what will be an amazing piece of fashion!  By the way, if anyone is considering doing something similar in the future, we will be writing a book about the journey.

To more exciting things and in particular what we have lined up over the next month or so..  Next week we will be at Ogilvy (London) for their Mobile Lab Day #MobLab, where we will continue our partnership with the world’s largest advertising group in promoting these amazing bar codes to the world of advertising.  Ogilvy really are pioneers in advertising and their Lab’s which are scattered around the globe are truly innovative.  A focus point for staff and customers to engage first hand with new and exciting developments in technology, which all relate to advertising.  Our presence adds not only a serious message about the use of 2d barcodes in mobile marketing, but also provides a light hearted addition to the exhibition.  People just love, grabbing their mobile phone and scanning our Tags..  Many may not even be aware of a QR Code, so when they start to engage with the ideas, you can see their imagination going into overdrive..

Another market we are working on developing is in the world of Music. It’s all pretty logical really, Music over the years has had a massive impact on people’s lives, from what they wear to who they are.  We’ve been talking to a number of big players in this market over recent months and these highly imaginative people ‘get’ the role that QR Tags can play in the music world…  Whilst we have a way to go before we can really sell in a strong proposition for the QRazystuff clothing brand, we are confident that we’ll have a unique proposition that Record Companies, Producers, Promoter’s & Artists alike will love (more to follow another day).

Our first foray into this market is quite literally the week after we launch..  We’re fortunate enough to have a local Music Festival taking place right on our door-step on 7th August.  MusicforLife 2010 is the precursor to what will be a major UK Festival in 2011.  This Charity event is being sponsored by QRazystuff Ltd, with all proceeds going to the Eden Rose Coppice charity.  The charity supports those affected by Cancer, by providing cancer patients, their families, volunteers, caregivers and nurses an opportunity to escape, reflect and connect with nature.  This year’s festival will certainly be a very exciting one for the QRazystuff team, as we’ll be manning our first festival tent, not only displaying our clothing, but also providing access to customers to purchase their own Tagged clothing!

We’ve also produced some promotional T-Shirts for this year’s event, with any resale proceeds being passed onto the Charity of course.

For next year’s festival market, we have some ground breaking plans for how we can retail our products..  again more to follow another day.

There’s a lot more to tell about the future plans of QRazystuff, but I’m afraid they will have to stay under-wraps for now. ..

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