Spotify ad campaign turns mirror on music lovers with "weird 2016" stats

A former One Directioner is the most popular "all caps" music star out there, for example...

Have you ever found yourself browsing Spotify and wound up listening to a playlist entitled "One Night Stands with Jeb Bush like He's a Bond Girl in a European Casino"?

Neither have we, but thanks to a new global advertising campaign from the music streaming giant – its biggest ever – we now know it's out there, waiting for us...

It's but one of the quirky bits of info Spotify has drawn from analysing user data and thrown onto a billboard prominently positioned in a big city. As part of the end of year campaign, tagged with the line "Thanks, 2016. It's been weird", we've also gleaned the following couple of localised facts:

  • REM got quite the post-Brexit airing across the Irish Sea, with 3,749 people streaming 'It's The End Of The World As We Know It' on the day the UK decided to leave the EU.
  • One person based in New York's Theatre District streamed the Hamilton soundtrack 5,376 times this year (a listener clearly after US Vice President-elect Mike Pence's heart).

The ads started to appear in the US, UK, France and Germany on Monday, with a further 10 markets (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines and Sweden) also braced for their arrival. The campaign is the brainchild of Spotify's internal creative team in New York.

Have a gander at a few examples cropping up in various urban areas:

Spotify's chief marketing officer Seth Farbman told Creativity that the idea came from 2015's "Year in Music" campaign, when they realised there were plenty of info nuggets to be found in geographical data.:

"That led to the idea of reflecting culture via listener behaviour. There has been some debate about whether big data is muting creativity in marketing, but we have turned that on its head.

"For us, data inspires and gives an insight into the emotion that people are expressing."