Through the decades, go-to inspirations for pop songs include cheating exes, true loves and heart-breaking crushes. Now, Spotify has added an unexpected muse to that mix—the CMO.
The brand’s new b-to-b campaign, “Song for Every CMO,” features a Spotify album of anthems, each one dedicated to a top marketing exec at a major brand. Created with FCB New York, it includes tunes written specifically for Kimberly-Clark’s Zena Arnold, Lara Balazs of Intuit, Norman de Greve of CVS, Rachel Ferdinando at Frito-Lay and Jessica Jensen at Indeed, each of whom has advertised on the platform.
The songs are written in a variety of styles, ranging from ‘80s synth-pop to alt-rock to rap.
Arnold’s anthem, “Zena with a Z!,” pays homage to her skill in “driving the digital transformation” at her company, among other accomplishments.
The rock homage to Balazs, “Lara’s Into It,” highlights the Intuit CMO’s leadership efforts on marketing during tax time and beyond: “She hosts Prosperity Pop-Ups for those with dreams. And sets up Quickbooks Connect to rule the Silicon scene."
The song “Old Dusty Fingers,” is littered with references to innovative marketing moves of Frito-Lay’s Ferdinando, with nods to Chester Cheetah, Cheetle and Doritos’ triangular shape.
The power ballad “Beauty Mark,” honoring CVS’ de Greve, directly references the brand’s innovative push to ensure that all its advertising imagery remains unaltered and free of retouching. Lyrics also recount the brand’s ground-breaking move to remove tobacco products from its shelves.
Jensen’s country track, “Jess Got Me a Job,” highlights the Indeed exec’s efforts in championing job seekers and equity, among other accomplishments. “Passionate proponent of the voices of women. Empowering the workforce to join Indeed and go get ‘em,” croons the tune’s performer.
Each “single” also features its own cover art that gives a nod to its genre and subject.
According to Sarah Kiefer, Spotify’s global director of enterprise marketing, the campaign was a way to “have fun” with the brand’s marketing partners after the pandemic shut down the usual stream of opportunities to connect, such as the Cannes Lions. It also banks on the fact that “CMOs are music fans, too,” she says. “We’re often in conversations with partners about how central music is to their lives and the lives of their audiences. Like all of us, top marketers have distinct personal tastes and listen to music in their downtime to relax, bond with their families, soundtrack a workout or commute and get a mood boost.”
The brand and FCB worked hand-in-hand with the marketers to create tracks reflecting their respective musical tastes and stories. “The CMOs themselves were involved at every step, from advising on their preferred genre to approving the lyrics and song cuts,” Kiefer says.
Spotify has employed a host of initiatives directed toward marketers, such as last year’s “Wrapped for Advertisers,” as well as its Culture Next report, which dives into the influence of Gen Z and millennials on audio streaming and culture. But the CMO album may be its most creative to date and its first ever to highlight specific individuals and partners.
In selecting the execs to feature in the album, Kiefer says the Spotify team worked with both existing partners and those it was looking to engage with more deeply. “Ultimately, we wanted to celebrate our partners’ creative and strategic work, as well as their unique ability to deliver outstanding results for their brands,” she says. And more songs may be in the works, she says. “Our virtual doors are open for other CMOs. Please do get in touch, and share a preferred genre for your song. We will definitely consider that difficult second album if this one resonates.”
“It’s a big miss when we just treat audio as radio," said FCB New York co-CCO Michael Aimette in a statement. "There’s still a fairly wide gap between what marketers and advertisers are currently doing with Spotify and what can be done.” The CMO songs campaign aims to "show marketers how fun and effective the platform can be, how their message can be so tailored to one’s audience, and how it can bridge music and creativity in new ways."