WTF: Sony Wants Audiences to Use Shazam for 'Spider-Man 2' Tease
This can't be real. But, apparently, it is. And I am baffled. No wonder they didn't put this on any of the press screenings, as critics would've lost their mind if this "Shazam" clip played at the end. Marc Webb's sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2 finally hits US theaters starting this week and there has been rumors going around about scenes attached to the credits, or in the credits, or a potential X-Men crossover, or something like that. But after waiting and waiting and nothing appearing during US press screenings last week, Sony has announced "be sure to Shazam the end credit sequence to unlock a look into the sinister future." WTF?!
Pardon my French, but yes, this news deserves a "what the fuck?!" because this just makes no sense. Studios encouraging phone use during movies? It's a blatant misunderstanding of user experience combined with insane marketing oversaturation. This official statement apparently comes direct from Sony (via SlashFilm):
"After seeing THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 – opening on May 2nd - be sure to Shazam the end credit sequence to unlock a look into the sinister future. Download @Shazam on iTunes or GooglePlay. #SpiderMan"
As far as we can tell, if this is real, what it's saying - you must Shazam the song during the end credits to get the credits scene delivered to your phone. So, the studio is requiring people take out their phones during the movie (as soon as it ends). For those wondering what is going on here, let me explain: this is what is known as "cross-promotion". Sony, fearing that they need more attention brought to Spidey, strikes deals with as many other popular companies as possible, which allows them to cross-promote Spider-Man 2 without spending more of their ad budget. Shazam puts up banners and info in their app and all over their site, Sony comes up with a way to feature Shazam in return (and this is it). From a marketer's viewpoint, everyone is popping open champagne and celebrating. But from the audience's viewpoint? This is utter studio stupidity.
To the studio execs, I'm sure this all sounds great. Spidey gets promoted in a very popular app, Shazam gets promoted via Spidey, Hollywood makes more money, everyone is happy (right?). But to me, this sounds like the execs have no idea what sitting in a movie theater is like. It's as if they've never actually been a part of an "audience", or had the excruciatingly miserable experience of someone take out their phone during a movie. It's a sensitive topic and many believe it is flat out wrong to use phones during movies (one person was even shot and killed because of an argument over phone use earlier this year). But this is taking marketing and promotion way, way too far. Just stop. Put the damn credits scene at the end of the credits where it belongs.
Update!: That didn't take long - ComingSoon has discovered the scene we'll see when you Shazam the end credit's song "It's On Again" by Alicia Keys. It reveals a quick look at the Sinister Six line-up (which is part of the movie anyway) including ambiguous shots of the vehicles/weapons used by the six villains they'll be including: Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Rhino, Vulture, Kraven the Hunter and perhaps Chameleon or Mysterio.
At the moment, the video is not available online, but can still be seen by Shazaming the song in the credits. At least we know what the reveal is. We strongly discourage anyone from using the phone during the movie.