Spotify is one of the biggest music streaming platforms in the world, used by millions across the globe. Starting from humble beginnings in 2006 as a startup born out of Stockholm, they’ve seen immense growth over the last decade or so. But they had a problem, they were seeing a significant decline in monthly active listeners amongst a younger audience.
Specifically, the brand was struggling to appeal to a Gen Z audience. The brand didn’t feel as relevant to them, it felt less inclusive and not as cool. They were instead actively choosing to get their music from other sources.
We set about conducting extensive research as well as commissioning some behavioural science analysis to fully understand why the Spotify brand wasn’t resonating with this audience.
Our findings showed that whilst the awareness of the Spotify platform was sky high, they felt no emotional connection towards the brand or that the brand offered any sense of personal empowerment, something that we knew to be a hugely important feeling for this generation of music listeners.
It was clear that we needed a creative platform that could be used to deliver this sense of feeling to our audience. Something that could help drive a new emotional connection with Gen Z and help Spotify seamlessly plug into modern culture.
We uncovered the insight that when people listen to music on Spotify it wasn’t just that, it was so much more. Spotify gives you the freedom to listen to endless genres, songs, and lyrics, enabling you to explore all the fun, vibrant, messy, and awkward ways you’re feeling. Listening to music on Spotify can give you the confidence to share your voice and beliefs with the world.
It was this insight that we needed to put front and centre of Spotify’s communications. Telling the world that no matter who you are, or what you're feeling, Spotify is a platform where you can embrace your true self.
We developed the ‘Find Your Feels’ platform, an idea that put self expression and empowerment right at the heart of the brand. Giving Gen Z a chance to reconnect with Spotify.
To launch the platform, we created a campaign featuring stories from creator talent that embraced different ways that people lived their life. Working closely with the brand’s in-house talent agency we hand picked a list of creators - from award-winning Gay Times contributor, Jamie Windhurst, to Cheslea FC professional footballer, Callum Hudson-Odoi. The content showcased their personal stories and relationship with music, each of them picking out three songs that had helped shape them. We launched with a hero film to drive awareness of ‘Find Your Feels’ featuring all of our creators telling parts of their story, featuring across multiple digital and social platforms.
The campaign was further supported by the creators making their own Spotify playlists, which shared with the world the songs that made them ‘find their feels’.
Furthermore, we used highly targeted paid social ads to push the campaign and offer a limited time sign-up incentive to our audience.
Spotify has an incredibly strong brand look and feel, instantly recognisable to most people across the world, but we felt that for a Gen Z audience, and this specific campaign, we need to push that visual identity further.
Our design team, working closely with Spotify’s in-house studio, to bring out a more playful side of the brand, using bespoke iconography and visuals to dramatise the feeling of personal expression. The enhanced designs provoked a huge consumer reaction, spurring on our audience to create a huge amount of user generated content, showing off their versions of self expression. Importantly though, it helped to encourage a fresh outlook from a Gen Z audience on the Spotify brand.
SPICE BUS - 25TH ANNIVERSARY
We knew that just creating a communications campaign wouldn’t be enough for Gen Z to fall back in love with Spotify, it has to feel authentic to this audience and stretch across everything the brand says and does.
That included things like when it celebrated and drove awareness for key artist landmarks such as the Spice Girls 25th year anniversary. A huge moment in pop culture - but how could we ensure that we're hitting the right notes with our Gen Z audience?
The Spice Girls were loved not just for their chart hits but for the attitude that they represented amongst all age groups. So, we launched an experiential campaign, with the aim of reconnecting with more than just the music, but the feeling and movement that this iconic girl group created.
We created the iconic Spice Bus from the film Spice World and took creators, fans and media on the journey of a lifetime across London. But it wasn’t the Spice Girls that we re-created this moment with but RuPaul’s Drag Race - a cheeky flip that put the Spice Girls right back at the heart of today’s Qween culture!
The stunt was shared across global media platforms and generated a huge £125M of earned media coverage, being shared by celebrities and fans alike. Even Victoria Beckham featured the campaign on her social media, unprompted!
The objective of making Gen Z fall in love with Spotify is obviously an ongoing process, which we will continue to strive to do. But so far the results from our activity have been huge. We have seen a 38% increase in brand love from a Gen Z audience, resulting in a 91K incremental increase in monthly active users of the platform.
We have seen a significant shift in how the brand is perceived amongst a Gen Z audience since launching the ‘Find Your Feels’ platform.