one of the main reasons i shop at my local co-op in tottenham high road (apart from their reasonably priced and responsibly sourced foodstuffs of course) is their music policy. while i usually listen to music on my phone while i'm out (hey kids, how cool am i) i've often been forced to remove my headphones in the co-op as i become aware of what they're playing on the p.a. the first time this happened, steely dan's 'haitian divorce' was responsible. the next track was stevie wonder's 'higher ground', then blue oyster cult's 'don't fear the reaper'. i walked round convinced thet the next track would be something awful by foreigner or don henley or some other plum, but this didn't happen. in fact, so attuned to my own peculiar taste was the co-op musical director's choices that i fully expected them to start playing some anthony braxton or early pere ubu or king tubby or john dowland.
that didn't happen either, and it's probably just as well. this morning i was in there again. there didn't appear to be any music on. i was listening to morton feldman's 'music for the rothko chapel', pretentious tosser that i am. then it struck me that maybe they were playing morton feldman as well...
so i thought about some ridiculous scenario where i might walk into a supermarket and immediately get a message on my phone...
GOOD MORNING PETER
WE WOULD LIKE TO PLAY YOU SOME MUSIC AS YOU BROWSE OUR STORE.
IS THAT OK WITH YOU?
so they'd have all my last fm profile data, so they'd have a good idea what i like. and maybe my amazon history too. and they'd play me music. this gives me the illusion that they care about me in some way, and of course they could tailor their list based on detailed cctv analysis of my shopping habits to give me some wee subliminal help with my shopping. for instance, they'd know that about 5 minutes into my shopping trips i'd usually made it as far as the frozen food section, so maybe they could slip in charles mingus' 'eat that chicken'.
except they'd know i was a vegetarian so they wouldn't. but you get the idea. it'd have to be subliminal though, and not out of the realms of your usual listening.
i'm open to offers on this marketing idea. and i've posted a copy of it to myself so don't try anything.