'Thanks 2016, It's Been Weird,' Says Spotify in Biggest-Ever Global Campaign

Streaming Service Signs Off the Year With Out-of-Home Push in 14 Markets

Published On
Nov 28, 2016
Thanks 2016

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Spotify has kicked off its largest-ever global campaign with a major, data-driven outdoor push in which it bids goodbye to 2016 with the sign-off, "Thanks 2016, it's been weird."

The out-of-home ads pluck quirky, amusing, hyper-localized facts and figures from its own data. For example, a U.K. poster reads: "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." One U.S. execution reads: "Dear person who made a playlist called: 'One Night Stand With Jeb Bush Like He's a Bond Girl in a European Casino.' We have so many questions." Some executions are super-localized: a New York poster reads: "Dear person in the Theater District who listened to the Hamilton soundtrack 5376 times this year. Can you get us tickets?"

The campaign begins rolling out in the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany today (Nov. 28) and then to a further 10 markets (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines and Sweden). It was developed in-house by Spotify's internal creative team in New York, supported by insight from its regional teams around the world.

Spotify CMO Seth Farbman told Creativity that the idea for the data-driven campaign originated with 2015's end-of-year "Year in Music" campaign, as it transpired that data from listeners in different geographical areas provided some interesting insights. "That led to the idea of reflecting culture via listener behavior."

"There has been some debate about whether big data is muting creativity in marketing, but we have turned that on its head," he added. "For us, data inspires and gives an insight into the emotion that people are expressing."

In order to be as hyper-local as possible, Spotify decided to focus primarly on OOH advertising, Mr Farbman explained. "It has the ability to really drive clever copy home that other media can't always do as well."

Other elements of the campaign, set to roll out in the run-up to Christmas, include emails to customers on their own personal usage of Spotify, and digital and social ads that also use the data-driven insights.