You may have read our whimsical musings on Drinkify, a fun site matching the song you are listening to with the perfect accompanying beverage.
Well, we liked that and we enjoy the idea generally of a service that explores and reveals an unknown that’s intended to partner an existing activity. This is because, well, it’s just really fun when the partnership is a good one.
So, it’s no great surprise then that I’ve already been trying out the new music service FoodBeats, launched by Lurpak in conjunction with Last.fm. The site is much like Drinkify in construction: You go to the site and type in the meal that you’re going to be cooking, the time for which you’ll be putting it together and FoodBeats spews out some music suited to your gastronomic mood.
I was a bit disappointed however, to find that the very first meal I entered was unrecognised by the site. Chilli con carne. Unrecognised. Really?
Undeterred, I tried an alternative, something I’d been making the previous night; cous cous. Unrecognised. Would I like to choose a regional cuisine instead? No, not really. Clearly, I had to lower my expectations and think of something slightly less exotic. Omelette; that should do it. It was indeed recognised, but only its Hispanic cousin, Spanish Omelette (which, let’s face it, is an entirely different beast).
It struck me that the key to unlocking this library of kitchen music could be to restrict my entry to a major ingredient. Salmon, for instance. Yes, now we’re getting somewhere. After allocating a cooking time of 20 minutes, FoodBeats began to feedback to me my ‘ideal food mix’, starting with My Moon My Man by Feist…
…Now, I actually really like this song. But, how is it related to salmon? Is it a particularly fishy kind of song? Or perhaps the artist is deemed by Lurpak to have an aquatic quality? She & Him’s Black Hole, followed by Walk in the Park by Beach House came next and, in all honesty, I’m still struggling to see the common thread.
Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking that I’m taking this too far. It’s just a fun online radio station with a front end food related gimic designed to get Lurpak a bit of extra digital exposure. But, c’mon, there are tonnes of online radio stations. Lurpak have really missed a trick here in not making this something different, useful, clever or, at the very least, comical. At least Drinkify returned results that were vaguely amusing if not at all helpful, plus it seemed to recognise every song and artist, from the mainstream to the utterly underground, classical to pop.
Lurpak, we love your ‘intrepid fridge forager’ advertising campaign, but this at the moment just doesn’t quite cut the mustard. (And by the way, seems odd that FoodBeats doesn’t recognise the very same French omelette upon which these heroic TV ads were based?)