- To promote its updated free version, Spotify launched "Love What You Love," a campaign that includes fake film trailers, digital videos inspired by dating apps and out-of-home experiences, according to news provided to Marketing Dive.
- Spotify created two spots done in the style of film trailers that will air across cinema, broadcast, digital TV and social in 11 markets worldwide. In "Chase Love," a spoof on action thrillers, a good guy and a bad guy in a car chase discover their mutual love for the Miley Cyrus track "Wrecking Ball" during a particularly tense moment. In "Horror Love," a homicidal doll comes to life when it hears Camilla Cabello's "Havana."
- The digital video portion of the campaign, "Match Instantly," celebrates the power of finding the perfect song by depicting moments of music discovery as Hollywood-esque love scenes. In the ad "Meadow," a woman is shown blissfully listening to SZA's "Drew Barrymore" in a meadow before favoriting the song — or "matching" with it, as users do on dating apps. Spotify is also running billboards placed in eight markets that highlight the platform's personalized and curated playlists and artists.
Spotify is taking a blockbuster approach to marketing its updated free version, closely recreating the look and feel of popular movies of the moment such as the "Annabelle" series, which is also about a persistent, nefarious haunted doll. Love What You Love appears to be Spotify's biggest marketing push since going public in April, and comes as the platform needs to continue to attract new members to its revamped free service to sustain growth.
Emulating a Hollywood aesthetic is a trend more marketers are embracing as they aim to stoke excitement for new products and reach younger audiences that may find original digital video content more interesting than traditional ads. A couple of notable examples include Taco Bell's trailer for a fake thriller starring actor Josh Duhamel called "Web of Fries" that promoted its new nacho fries, which are now a big seller at the fast-food chain. For its Super Bowl campaign this year, Tourism Australia also earned a lot of praise for teasing a spoof "Crocodile Dundee" revival starring Danny McBride and Chris Hemsworth.
Spotify said updating its free, ad-supported offering would give brands more ways to deliver engaging and relevant sponsored messages to listeners, and give listeners more control over their music choices. Among Spotify's 159 million worldwide users, about two-thirds use the free version of the app. However, ads make up just 10% of the platform’s revenue, according to an NPR report. The low number of paid subscribers has been a sore spot for the music industry. Spotify recently renegotiated the royalties it pays to musicians and labels, which included the platform keeping certain albums behind a paywall before meeting particular benchmarks.