- Spotify is celebrating Halloween with a new campaign that highlights boundary-pushing artists such as Freddie Mercury, Madonna and Billie Eilish, according to press materials shared with Marketing Dive. The "Stay Scary" effort features a pop-up store, out-of-home (OOH) placements and short films.
- The pop-up store in New York on Saturday will be handing out free costume accessories inspired by artists' iconic looks, such as Spears' python, Madonna's "Boy Toy" belt, Eilish's crown and Lil Nas X's studded patch. Visitors at the pop-up can listen to music at a "playlist station" and view short films about Janet Jackson and Johnny Cash. These spots are also available on Spotify's YouTube page.
- OOH ads throughout New York call on viewers to "stay scary." The ads highlight the artists in the campaign, which also include Alice Cooper, in their iconic outfits. The "Scary is Nothing to be Afraid Of" posters will run through Nov. 1.
Halloween tends to be a huge celebration in New York, with an annual parade featuring some 50,000 costumed participants and 2 million spectators. These consumers will spend the next week walking around town, shopping for costumes and riding the subway, where Spotify has strategically placed ads.
By promoting costume ideas and going a step further by handing out costume accessories, Spotify is doing a service to last-minute costume hunters that want to go out and enjoy the holiday. Pushing musician costumes is a natural fit for the platform, which could see its accessories go viral as they're worn and shared on social media. There is also potential for the brand's short films to be passed around online, extending the campaign's reach and boosting discovery among potential new customers.
Halloween is also a night of parties, which aren't complete without music. Spotify is aiming to put itself in the middle of these parties by helping people get dressed for the big night, and perhaps suggesting the soundtrack for those that choose to dress up as these icons.
This year's effort is much lighter than Spotify's ad campaign last year. In 2018, the company made a short horror film about Camila Cabello's song "Havana" that was so terrifying it was banned for anyone under 17 in the UK by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Spotify continues to market around the artists on its platform. In April, it brought back its RapCaviar Pantheon activation with a new class of honorees including Cardi B, Jaden Smith, Juice WRLD and Gunna, whose likenesses were captured in life-sized sculptures. These efforts look to increase the market share of the platform, which boasts 124 million users of its free, ad-supported service, as it competes with other music streaming services like Pandora.