Pandora Commissioned an Interactive Mural of DJ Khaled to Promote Its Summer Playlists

Its 'Sound On' campaign debuts today

Pandora commissioned this mural of musician DJ Khaled painted by street artist Lexi Bella. Pandora
Headshot of Marty Swant

Pandora’s algorithms think DJ Khaled’s new album will be a hit this summer.

For its new “Sound On” campaign, the streaming music service analyzed its data to see which hits and artists would be the most listened to during the hottest months of the year. Topping the list was Khaled’s “Just Us” featuring SZA, followed by his “Wish Wish” with Cardi B and 21 Savage.

To help literally illustrate—and to promote—the summer sounds, Pandora commissioned an interactive mural of Khaled in New York’s Lower East Side neighborhood. The mural, painted by street artist Lexi Bella, also includes a QR code, which when scanned, directs visitors to the album for an audio-visual experience. The company also created a longer 41-song playlist of what it thinks will be the top hits.

Predictions were made using a combination of data science and its own in-house curation team, according to Brad Minor, Pandora’s vp of brand marketing. Rounding out the top five were “Close Friends” by Lil Baby, “I Don’t Care” by Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber, and “Tu Vecina” by Maluma and Ty Dolla $ign.

“Our data tells us what listeners are gravitating to and our music curators are constantly on top of what’s hot and what’s going to be hot,” Minor said. “To usher in the arrival of summer, we pulled data and insights from our expert curators to predict this season’s top tracks.”

It isn’t the first time Pandora has done a location-based music activation. For the holiday season, Pandora tied playlists to geographies where the ads were placed, while the spring campaign used QR codes to direct fans to exclusive content by artists such as 2Chainz.

“For our holiday travel campaign, we wanted to provide necessary distraction and commiseration,” said Lauren Nagel, vp and executive creative director at Pandora. “For the spring campaign, it was all about providing a platform for discovery and inspiration. For summer, we want to provide a space for memorable experiences and celebration.”

Pandora also plans on having a presence at a number of spring and summer music festivals, including Hangout Fest, Electric Forest, Firefly Music Festival, Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival, CMA Fest and WorldPride.

Minor said the company started trying to “up-level” its experiential marketing strategy about six months ago.

“[Experiential marketing is] all about creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the people in the room but translating it to millions via digital and social extensions,” he said.

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.