- Smirnoff's Spotify API, the Smirnoff Equalizer, drove 630 million impressions with 90% earned, Neil Shah, Smirnoff's global marketing director told Marketing Dive. Shah detailed the six-month campaign during a session at Advertising Week.
- The Smirnoff Equalizer connected with a user's Spotify account, analyzing the number of male versus female artists they listened to over the past six months and offered a personalized slider that allowed users to increase the number of female artists in their playlists. The campaign helped spur a 52% increase in the number of female artists streamed on Spotify, according to Shah.
- The equalizer was part of the Diageo vodka brand's "Equalizing Music" campaign, which aims to drive awareness about gender bias in music and to double the number of female music festival headliners by 2020. "We’ve had activity all through the summer around festival line-ups in Europe," Shah said.
By teaming with Spotify for the Smirnoff Equalizer, the vodka brand was able to raise awareness about and make an impact on gender bias in music, the key objective of its "Equalizing Music" campaign. With more than half a billion earned impressions, the campaign clearly resonated with consumers, underscoring the power of music and purpose-driven marketing for engaging millennials and Gen Zers. By extending the effort beyond the API and into real world events, Smirnoff increased visibility with key consumers.
While Shah said that connecting the campaign to sales is "a hard thing to quantify," he seemed unconcerned. "I don’t think you necessarily look to see if we’re supporting female DJs, then we’re selling more Smirnoff," he said at Advertising Week. "That seems a bit disingenuous, but we are a business, not a charity, and we believe those things can live in parallel."
By prioritizing both doing good and doing business, Smirnoff can establish itself as an authentic brand with a value-driven mission. Millennials and over-21 Gen Zers comprise a large portion of Spotify listeners, and many of these consumers expect brands to be cause-driven and want brands to be more political. Smirnoff's success with this campaign could make the brand more attractive for these younger consumers, who are abandoning beer for wine and liquor.