Article originally appeared in Campaign.
For a service which boasts an estimated 40 million users, Spotify has maintained a surprisingly low public profile in Adland.
But this is no longer the case. Perhaps because competition in content-streaming is greater than ever, Spotify has entered the fray with a series of smart, catchy and, crucially, funny campaigns.
Just like the platform itself, simplicity is key to Spotify’s new push. Taking advantage of its hefty database of listener’s playlists, the tongue-in-cheek ads take aim at some of the more zany names they’ve encountered.
In a crafty series of short video ads, Spotify has enlisted the efforts of musicians who are featured in oddly-named playlists.
For example, we see Joe Jonas-fronted pop group DNCE surprised to learn they feature on a playlist morbidly titled “play this at my funeral”. The second half of the video imagines this very scene, with a crowd of tearful mourners bopping along to the bubbly rhythms of DNCE’s ‘Body Moves’.
As they carry the coffin past a display of wreaths, you half expect the deceased to sit up and start dancing too. While it may not be funeral-appropriate, it certainly is a hilarious image.
Elsewhere, singer Alessia Cara finds herself on the playlist “Global warming is real…let’s dance”. Here, the brand imagines a crew of glacier-bound polar bears shimmying to her song while Cara herself provides acerbic commentary: “She’s right, global warming is real. Not really sure dancing would be the solution though”.
Perhaps the best, but tragically least seen of these ads features rapper D.R.A.M., who investigates a playlist called “Rap Caviar”. It doesn’t take much creativity to see what happens next, with devoted hip hop heads climbing into a tin of caviar as if it were a Jacuzzi. In D.R.A.M.’s own words: “They got over five million followers. That’s mad caviar”.
The fun of Spotify’s campaign is that it manages to be sarcastic while earnestly revelling in the creativity and outright strangeness of its users. The same is true of the brand’s fantastic poster campaign, which lovingly pokes fun at more inventive playlist names. Among the best gags: ‘There’s a playlist called “Peaceful Piano”. For when you’re tired of all that violent, in-your-face piano’.
Produced by Wieden + Kennedy New York, Spotify’s latest campaign showcases a strong and simple sense of humour, building off a concept that’s utterly relatable for anyone who’s ever dabbled in the playlist game themselves.
Of course, the upshot of the campaign is that the next time you find yourself giving a party mix tape or gym playlist a witty pun name, you may just find your work on a billboard.