Spotify Ties Music to Personal Stories in Its New Ads

Ogilvy & Mather, David partnered on the push

Few things are as evocative of memories as music and Spotify is using that emotional connection in a new online and social media push that invites Spotify users to share their songs and the real stories behind them.

The #thatsongwhen campaign, from Ogilvy & Mather in New York and sister shop David in Miami, is the initial part of a larger marketing effort for the streaming music service. It begins in the U.S. and will subsequentially roll out to the U.K. and Germany, with localized content in each market.

“Music has always been a huge part of our users’ lives,” said Erin Clift, Spotify’s vp of global marketing and partnerships. "Our consumers' love of music and their telling other people about that passion has helped fuel our growth. We were looking for a way for our users to not just be spectators of the stories but to be creators of the stories.”

Three of the millennials’ stories were made into online videos. In one clip, a young woman describes the time she and her teenage gymnast friends formed a secret committee to paper trees with toilet tissue, as Ludicrous' “Roll Out” plays in the background. In another video, a guy tells the story of an unrequited crush he had as a 9-year-old to the tune of TLC's  “Waterfalls.” The final video features a hipster recalling that when he was laid off from his job, he heard White Snake's “Here I Go Again” as he exited the building. The campaign also features Vine celebrities Vincent Marcus and Kenzie Nimmo.

“The realness of this campaign is the key point,” said Ogilvy New York president Adam Tucker. “We wanted to tap into the truth about music and it was really important to tap into real people and their feelings and the songs that inspire them.”

Corinna Falusi, the ecd on the effort, added that Spotify is “more of a technology company. Other music companies use big celebrities and big shiny stars. With Spotify and its Swedish heritage, music is a very personal experience.”