Spotify is steadily rising to the most popular platform for streaming music. With reasonable prices (including discounts for families and college students) and diverse services (everything from radio stations to premade playlists to fit your every mood), it’s the number one music-streaming platform for over 100 million people. Along with its excellent services and features, Spotify has some insanely clever marketing. One campaign that went viral at the end of 2016 was Spotify’s “Thanks 2016” ad campaign. In its biggest global campaign to date, Spotify gathered user data and told a story about the listening habits of their users, which they portrayed on billboards worldwide. Here’s a deeper look at why Spotify nailed it with these ads.
First and foremost – this campaign is funny. The billboards target specific, quirky facts that Spotify pulled out of the data it obtained. For example, one billboard reads “Dear person who played “Sorry” 42 times on Valentine’s Day, What did you do?” Appealing to an audience’s sense of humor is a tried-and-true tactic, proven here to be majorly effective.
This campaign also humanized a technological service by turning numerical data into a story. Statistics are interesting, but only if used correctly. When pulled together to tell a story, data like this is much more meaningful.
Most importantly, Spotify showed that it pays attention to its audience. It played off localized as well as national events, including Brexit and holidays like Valentine’s Day, showing how these affected peoples listening habits. One ad displayed in the UK read “Dear 3,749 people who streamed “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” the day of the Brexit vote, Hang in there.”
The overall theme of the campaign – taking a look back at 2016 – played into the trend of 2016 being a horrible year. From messy politics and celebrity deaths to terrorist attacks around the world, a common theme on social media was 2016 being the worst year in a long, long time. So, each ad signing off with “Thanks 2016, It’s been weird” pulled the whole campaign together and made it one of the best of 2016. To see more of these ads, read Ad Week’s article.