Why We’re Loving Spotify’s New Ad Campaign

December 13, 2016 | by Carlie Miller

As a wrap-up to the weirdness that has been 2016, Spotify has debuted a unique out-of-home ad campaign this week and it’s turning heads. Spotify’s internal creative team combed through users’ data for the year and pulled out informational tidbits that are both intriguing and hilarious. They formed the basis for its “It’s Been Weird” campaign, which is leading with high-profile billboard ads in the US, UK, Australia and 10 other markets around the world.

As casual and professional admirers of advertising alike have been noting this past week, there’s a lot to like about Spotify’s latest campaign. Here are our four top reasons:

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1. Clever Use of Data

While using customer data doesn’t necessarily sound sexy, Spotify found a way to turn the quirky musical habits of its users into a campaign that’s clever and delightful. It’s rare to see an advertisement that presents actual user data, let alone one that does it so well. Kudos to Spotify for looking inwards to connect with its audience on this one.

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2. Copy Tells the Story

We really love that this campaign lets the copy stand at the forefront of these ads. While we are and always will be huge design geeks, there’s a time and a place for copy to take the lead—and Spotify has nailed it with this one. The design on these ads purposefully draws the eye to the heart of the message: the text.

3. It’s Relatable

We all have those embarrassing songs and albums in our playlists (my current guilty pleasure: Hanson’s Christmas album). Seeing that there were more than one thousand guys listening to a “Girls’ Night” playlist or that there was a person listening to holiday music in June makes it easy for people to view their music-listening habits as a little less weird. It’s nice to feel like there are probably thousands of others who also listened to Spice Up Your Life 20 times on repeat.

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4. It’s Funny

Not only are these ads relatable, they’re all legitimately funny. “Dear person who played ‘Sorry’ 42 times on Valentine’s Day, what did you do?” So good! “Dear person in the Theater District who listened to the Hamilton Soundtrack 5,376 times this year, can you get us tickets?” Amazing!

What have we learned from this campaign? Data doesn’t have to be impersonal or boring. It can shed light onto very real human actions and feelings that smart brands can use to connect to their audience. When it’s done with as much humor as “It’s Been Weird,” you also get bonus points from the agencies and industry publications who write about you.

Oh, and we learned that if you want to have your weird music habits projected onto a billboard next year, start creating and listening to your weird playlists now!

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