Playlists By Publicis

If you can recognize a chef by his calloused hands and a biker by his shaved legs, how can you spot a music junkie? That was the question Publicis in Seattle pondered while crafting its sophomore campaign for Real Networks’ Rhapsody music-subscription service.

To answer it, planner Andy Grayson, group cd/art director Rob Hollenbeck and ecd/copywriter Bob Moore combed through Web sites and chat rooms, asking song-obsessed lurkers to reveal the signs of a music junkie. Responses ranged from “always has earbuds in” to “makes beats out of construction noise.” But one frequent comment stood out: “has a playlist for everything.” The creatives had their framework. The resulting ads, designed to run on three consecutive right-hand pages, offer a peek into the life of a tousled-haired young woman via her playlists. Her mixes are: “My playing hard to get playlist” (songs like Pearl Jam’s “Not for You” and MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This”), “My playing easier to get playlist” (Journey’s “Open Arms,” Sleater-Kinney’s What’s Mine Is Yours,” etc.) and “My playing nothing happened playlist” (Barenaked Ladies’ “Thanks That Was Fun,” Gary Allan’s “Best I Ever Had,” etc.).

The concept also showcases Rhapsody’s human element, says client svp of marketing Michael Schutzler: Rhapsody has real-life editors who tailor song suggestions to a user’s moods and emotions; playlists can then be passed along to other users. “You know the person who turns you on to music at different stages of your life?” says Hollenbeck. “Rhapsody is like that.”

The ads break in October issues of Rolling Stone.