What happens when an app forgets
You can tell when an app has really changed our lives: it becomes a verb. Don’t get out the map – Citymapper it. Don’t bother with an email – I’ll Slack you. Don’t remember the name of that song? Just Shazam it.
The convenience they bring to our lives is easy to take for granted now. Which is what makes the partnership between Shazam and Alzheimers Research UK so clever. There are about 40,000 people under 65 in the UK with dementia – and to raise awareness, the two partnered up to create ‘The Day That Shazam Forgot’– an activation for UK users that stopped the app working as you’d expect it to. For the month of April, instead of instantly recognising the song playing, the app struggled to remember it. When it eventually landed the name of the song Shazam then invited users to visit a donation page.
Most impressive is that Shazam were willing to sacrifice their functionality to deliver a message to an audience that might not know much about the disease. Disruptive, yes – but it worked: over 5000 app users visited the Alzheimer’s UK donation page. Clearly what your product doesn’t do can be just as powerful as what it does.
Real, frustrating and challenging – a perfect echo of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.