Spotify Pushes Its Free Tier With Fake Movie Trailers and Witty Outdoor Ads

The brand's largest marketing campaign to-date

New outdoor ads push Spotify's free tier. Spotify
Headshot of Katie Richards

Music is a powerful thing. An artist can bring even the most unlikely of people together, while an ultra-catchy song can lead you to play that track over and over again, no matter the circumstances. Don’t believe us? Check out Spotify’s latest films, both part of a major new marketing campaign from the music streaming company titled, “Love What You Love.”

The campaign pays special tribute to Spotify’s ad-supported, free music streaming service and the ability to track down your favorite artists and discover new music. The two spots are designed to feel like movie trailers, with lots of twists and turns. And, of course, there’s a stellar track featured in both.

In “Chase Love,” we see a classic film scene play out: An epic, high-speed chase unfolds on screen as a bad guy tries to outrun the cops. Except this Hollywood film-style car chase doesn’t play out the way you might expect it to, all thanks to the one and only Miley Cyrus. Take a look.

The second film, “Horror Love,” takes a different approach. This time, the brand puts viewers into an epic horror film with a creepy, haunted doll. While all haunted beings are awoken by something, this doll is provoked to kill and come to life by a certain tune from Camila Cabello. Scary stuff!

Spotify handled the creative for the campaign in-house, but partnered with UM Worldwide as its media agency for “Love What You Love.” The two films will start rolling out today through June 21 in the U.S., U.K, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Of course, the campaign doesn’t stop with the films. Spotify also turned to one of its tried and true mediums, out of home, to spread the message about its free service. While past out-of-home campaigns from the brand have focused heavily on listener data, this latest wave of work, “Match Instantly,” is inspired by dating apps.

Some of the billboards focus on specific artists, like Luke Bryan and Demi Lovato. They feature different artist playlists with copy hinting at what people with different personalities are looking for in relationships. For Lovato, the copy reads, “The free app for people who aren’t looking for anything serious,” and is placed next to a shot of the album cover for Lovato’s hit Cool for the Summer.

The out of home work will run in eight markets, including the U.S., U.K., Mexico and Brazil.

Additionally, as part of the “Match Instantly” component of the campaign, Spotify also created two 15-second spots to show just how good discovering a new song (or rediscovering an old song) can make a person feel. “Meadow” features Sza’s “Drew Barrymore,” while “Car” reminds fans of “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer. The two short vignettes are also meant to tie-in with the earlier spots, as they all have a nice cinematic quality to them.


Chief Marketing Officer: Seth Farbman
VP, Brand and Creative: Jackie Jantos
Global Executive Creative Director: Alex Bodman
Global Brand Design Director: Rasmus Wangelin
Creative Director: Dan Brill, Rajeev Basu
Associate Creative Director: Alex Sobiecki
Senior Art Director: Tal Midyan, Ellen Pai
Art Director: Rainy Fu, Josephine Tansara, Steven Conaway
Copywriter: Chris Monk, James Aviaz
Director of Integrated Production: Belinda Lopez
Senior Producer: Laura Ferguson, Davis Najdecki
Producer: Jenna Allchin, Kenzie Tankersley, Gabby Kreutter, Jeong Park
Senior Global Brand Director: Alexandra Tanguay
Global Brand Director: Christian Navarro
Senior Global Brand Manager: Lauren Solomon, Candice Greenberg
Global Brand Manager: Payman Kassie, Jonathan Chu
Associate Brand Manager: Christine Motch
Business Affairs: Lauren King
Brand Strategy Director: Zach Pentel
Brand Strategist: Nathan Doiev
Global Head of Consumer Marketing: June Sauvaget
Head of Marketing Strategy & Planning: Neal Gorevic
Director, Global Marketing Strategy & Planning: Emmanuel Orssaud
Global Consumer Marketing: Hugo Norqvist, Antonieta Moreland
Head of Global Media: Scott Marsden
Global Media Manager: Kathryn Griffin
Media Specialist: Sarah Schlein

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@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.