User data powers Spotify’s new outdoor campaign

As a former advertising creative, I can’t honestly say my ears always perked up at the mention of “User Data.”

Typically, it was the driest portion of any meeting, causing me to use my time better by challenging my neighbor to a game of impromptu Tic-Tac-Toe. I would gladly join back in when it was time for the actual assignment… an hour and a half later.

Well you go, Spotify!

The streaming giant’s new out-of-home campaign actually takes user data and turns what could be so incredibly boring into a colorful, hilarious and clever campaign.

Created by Spotify’s in-house agency, the campaign launched in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Miami, Nashville, and Washington D.C. as well as 18 global markets.

Highlighting more than 70 artists, this year’s campaign digs up nuggets of 2017 user data (their quirks and habits) and invites its audience to take this knowledge and run with it in the form for a 2018 playlist. While most of the executions focus on fashion and music, the campaign does manage to sneak in a few quirky jabs at Washington as well.

None mention President Trump specifically, but the same cannot be said for some of his fallen surrogates like Sean Spicer and Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci.


Or perhaps, you want to emulate the person who made a playlist called, Daddy Pence Come Dance.

Globally, the campaign goes a little broader from poking fun at the medical profession…

Even Vegans get in on the fun.

Seth Farbman, Spotify CMO, told Creativity, that he hoped the campaign would invoke a sense of optimism in 2018. “When we started to look at this year’s data and what the news was every day we realized there was a lot of fatigue and exhaustion with all the events in 2017. So rather than go back and relive that exhaustion, we thought we would look forward and bring in a spirit of hope and optimism.”

In response to the more political executions Farber said, “Our job is to shine a light on those events that provoke people to strong emotion through music, and to use humor to relieve some of the seriousness.”

The fun campaign also includes life-size cutouts of various artists, including Cardi B and Bruno Mars, that will be placed in locations in New York, L.A. and Miami. The hope here is the that people will take selfies with the cutouts and use them as an “analog filter” for posting on social.

Farbman says the idea came from the insight that artists often post selfies of themselves standing in front of billboards with their faces on them. “Our creatives believe that this is an idea that could work really well,” he added.

The Reel believes it will. Anyway, I’m suddenly paying attention to user data and not playing “Hangman.”

   Chief Marketing Officer: Seth Farbman
   VP, Brand and Creative: Jackie Jantos
   Global Brand Director: Alexandra Tanguay
   Global Creative Director: Alex Bodman
   Associate Creative Director: Dan Brill
   Associate Creative Director: Spencer Hansen
   Global Brand Design Director: Rasmus Wangelin
   Senior Art Director: Martin Berggren, Ellen Pai, Angeline Toh, Erik Herrstrom
   Associate Brand Director: Christian Navarro
   Senior Global Brand Manager: Payman Kassaie, Lindsay Fischler, Candice Greenberg, Lauren Solomon, Christine Andren, Jonathan Chu
   Associate Brand Manager: Kristy Lyons, Christine Motch
   Director, Integrated Production: Belinda Lopez
   Senior Producers: Davis Najdecki, Alice Tam
   Production Coordinator: Kenzie Tankersley, Jeong Park
   Global Director, Brand Strategy: Zach Pentel
   Brand Strategy Manager: Nathan Doiev
   Head of Marketing Strategy & Planning: Neal Gorevic
   Global Consumer Marketing: Krista Scozzari, Antonia Moreland
   Head of Global Media: Scott Marsden
   Global Media Manager: Kathryn Griffin
   Data Program Manager: Sara Kayden
   Data Science: Gordon Silvera, Gabriel Duncan