Sometimes you can put a little twist on something and open up an entirely new door. In the case of a music composing agency for ads in Brazil, they might have shed a light on a very cool opportunity for print publishers to make a deeper connection with its readers. In film, television and media, the soundtrack is often the key ingredient to quickly tell the story and make the imperative emotional connection with the intended audience. You can convey a whole range of emotion and story in 5 seconds of music that would easily take you 60 seconds otherwise. Other than listing the name of a song and hoping the reader remembers it enough to hum it in their head, print has always been handicapped by that. Perhaps not any more as this Brazilian company has gotten me thinking how the power of music can be brought to print.
The mechanic of the feature is that users would be able to scan a QR code next to a passage to automatically have audio play as a soundtrack to that piece. In their sample on YouTube, they have a short passage and provide the option to scan two tracks to convey how the mood is changed and the reading’s meaning becomes completely different. Unfortunately, I cannot read Portuguese on their site or even cut and paste the copy into a translator as the whole thing is in Flash. But, it seems like they compose music cues for shows and advertisements. I also couldn’t tell if this is a technology they developed to sell, or if they just were looking to accentuate how important their core product, music, is.
Whatever the reason, the possibilities are interesting. What if a publisher was to place the code next to a piece of fiction to provide the soundtrack for the party scene. Or, the Hawaii travel board could place one next to the picture in an advertorial that plays the sounds of waves and slack-key guitar playing to get the reader’s travel bug going? What about being able to provide narration for a pictorial or even edits from a much longer Q&A with a subject that couldn’t be used in the final edited piece due to the lack of available space? There are really so many ways you can go with this.
The execution is simple and something that people would know exactly what they are getting when scanning and how that could benefit them – rather than most places, where you can scan a code and get something that is not what you expected or is underwhelming.
While this does not offer the full feature set of what QR code companies have been pushing, it really hits the spot for strong contextual and integrated placement. It gets the creative juices flowing about how this simple change in use can bring a whole new opportunity for bringing a tangible soundtrack to print.