Slacker vs. Pandora: The Art of Branding with Attack Ads

Admit it–you’ve been in this situation: you’re listening to your guilty pleasure playlist on Pandora (90’s Pop Hits, anyone?), but your seemingly bottomless well of nostalgia runs dry when “Mmmbop” comes on for the fourth time in a single morning.

Now, underdog Internet radio provider Slacker has tapped into that frustration and is using it to its own advantage. In its new humorous (and a little too relatable) online ad spot, the smaller company takes direct aim at Pandora’s limited music library, depicting a frustrated young woman opening a ‘Pandora’s Box’ (clever) that plays the same horrible song over and over again.

Luckily for the poor, “Cotton Eyed Joe”-plagued user in the video, a savvy friend swoops in to save her from a ceaseless loop of foot-stomping twang by informing her that Slacker has “ten times more songs than Pandora–and you can create your own playlist.”

Will this clever ad spot help Slacker, with only four million monthly users to Pandora’s 65 million, take a bigger bite of the music streaming apple? Only time will tell, but we’re intrigued enough to try it ourselves. Even we can only hear a certain girl-powered-group telling us to “Spice Up [Our] Life” so many times before we remember why we outgrew them in the first place…

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