Pandora’s Ad Campaign Wants People to Flip Out Over Their Favorite Music

Includes work with 33 social media influencers

Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Listening to a long-lost favorite song stirs up crazy emotions, at least in Pandora's new campaign.

Back in December, the music-streaming app launched a new feature called Thumbprint Radio, which compiles all of the songs a user likes (or "thumbs") over the years into a station. Today, to promote the radio station, Pandora launches an advertising campaign with the help of 33 social media influencers that taps into the nostalgia people feel when they hear an old tune.

The social stars include Helen Ruth Van Winkle (also known as Baddiewinkle on Instagram), YouTuber Dytto, Vine star Nick "RainO" Raiano and Instagram user James Ryan (who runs the account KrispyShorts).

The effort includes three slogans targeting millennials: "That's my shit," "That's my jam" and "That's my ish."

"The idea specifically around the campaign came from letting people listen to their actual Thumbprint radio station and seeing their reaction from literally getting one song they loved after another that they had forgotten that they loved," said Simon Fleming-Wood, Pandora's CMO.

"People were like, 'Oh yeah. Yeah! Yeah!' That became the core insight behind the campaign: This joy that it was unlocking for people. When someone reaches out and [gives a song a] thumbs up, it captures a little bit of lightning in a bottle."


WHEN UR JAM COMES ON #staykrispy @pandora_radio #thumbprintradio #spon Get ur thumbprint station (link in bio)

A video posted by K R I S P Y (@krispyshorts) on

Pandora tapped San Francisco agency Funworks to create the campaign, bringing in improv comedians and writers to help the teams generate ideas.

During a two-hour meeting—a process that Funworks calls a "funworkshop"—a handful of comedians worked with Pandora, Funworks and social media talent agency Collectively to brainstorm the campaign.

"We asked a really simple question: 'What happens when your favorite song comes on?' Everyone had this pure, emotional response—some people were yelling, 'Turn that shit up,' or 'That's my jam,'" said Paul Charney, CEO of Funworks. "It was a very pure moment. Over these two-and-a-half hours, a lot of ideas were generated, but everyone in the room knew that was the moment."

Charney added that many of the improv comedians Funworks enlisted are "millennials who don't have a filter. You're really going to learn what they think—there's no agendas there."

Each influencer will create four pieces of content—two promoting their own "jam" moment and two encouraging their fans to share their moments.

The campaign also includes digital spots, with paid ads running across Snapchat, BuzzFeed, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Hulu and YouTube. DigitasLBi handled the ad buy.

Take a look at a few of the videos below:

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.