Spotify gets personal to draw in advertisers

The platform's B2B campaign hopes to attract brands looking for captive audiences and one-to-one connections.


Spotify is using a metaphor of being in a bubble to convey to potential advertisers just how personal the service is.

“All Ears On You” is a B2B campaign featuring a woman wearing earphones, completely ensconced in a moveable bubble and floating her way through a busy cityscape.

According to Rich Frankel, global creative director at Spotify Advertising, streaming audio is highly personal, whether it’s songs or podcast playlists and that no two listeners have the same experience on the platform.

“We’ve got more than 400 million Spotify users but we like to think of them as 400 million audiences of one,” Frankel explains. “We needed to find a visual device to represent that immersive state and our elastic enveloping bubbles seemed like a great way to show advertisers how Spotify allows listeners to be transported to their own audio worlds even as they navigate the complexities of life in a modern world.”

The brand has paid media behind the campaign in over 20 markets, including Canada, supported by UM.

“We localized the work so that on-screen messages were translated into local languages,” Frankel says. “That said, we used a Joy Crookes song with lyrics in English in every market, and we carefully built the edit around the music to help soundtrack our story.”

As Frankel tells strategy, the level of immersion Spotify offers means audiences are paying attention – which offers advertisers of all stripes an opportunity for a legitimate one-to-one connection, the gold standard in an attention economy.

The positioning is something the brand has explored prior, like when it hosted a personalized bingo game with live music in Toronto and Montreal.

Last summer, Spotify launched adtech and targeting in Canada via its Spotify Podcast Ads and the Spotify Audience Network. Frankel stresses that Canadian listeners continue to be important to Spotify, especially with a recent eMarketer report that reveals that Canada’s digital audio audience is growing faster than any other digital medium tracked in the country.

According to Insider Intelligence numbers, digital audio listenership as a percentage of the populace, has grown from 24.7% in 2021, to 25.3% in 2022, with projections to reach 26.8% in 2025.

In Toronto, an eponymous invite-only “All Ears on You” live concert will take place in the city’s Little Italy, as one of the unique aspects of auditory experiences, Frankel says, is how it shapes and unites people.

“This is why we like to say that Spotify is where culture happens and the ‘All Ears On You’ concerts encapsulate that sentiment,” he says. Experiential events are a key channel in its marketing strategy because they give Spotify the ability to show B2B clients the power of music and culture Spotify offers first-hand.

While he admits the pandemic forced the brand to pause on this in-person strategy, Frankel says Spotify is slowly reentering this space, especially when it comes to attracting advertisers and their agencies. This began ratcheting up last fall, with a concert headlined by Megan Thee Stallion and then on a larger scale this summer at Cannes Lions with the brand’s Spotify Beach activation.

The global work was developed in partnership FCB/NY, with which Spotify began a relationship at the end of 2020.