Near field communication case study: The end of the silent magazine

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Billboard magazine in Brazil challenged its advertising agency Ogilvy to help their magazine stand out on shelves in newsagents. The result: the first music magazine in the world to play the music readers are reading about.

Case study summary

• Ogilvy has revolutionised music magazines by using near field communication (NFC) technology

• Readers of Billboard Magazine Brazil just had to put their smartphone on the front cover of the magazine to hear the music the magazine was talking about

• The use of NFC was a huge success and all copies of the magazine were sold

The challenge

Billboard magazine in Brazil needed an innovative way to attract reader’s attention and drive sales. With numerous music magazines available to readers, Billboard wanted to stand out and improve the reader’s experience.
The solution

In 2014 Billboard magazine in Brazil became the first music magazine to actually play the music customers are reading about. The project was created by Ogilvy Brazil to make a difference for its client Billboard.

Using near field communication (NFC) stickers on the front covers of magazines, readers just had to touch their smartphones on the cover and then they could listen to the music Billboard magazine was talking about in that edition.


The stickers work by activating a web page containing the music and the songs then play via the reader’s smartphone with no QR codes or Bluetooth required.

The target market for this campaign was youths in Brazil who had access to a smartphone.

The results

The technology debuted in Billboard Magazine’s 2014 Lollapalooza (a music festival) special edition, in newsagents in São Paulo. It was a great success with readers – all Billboard magazines with NFC were sold and since then subsequent special editions have also featured the same technology all across Brazil.

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