Spotify: A Song for Every CMO
FCB New York/ Spotify
Spotify grabbed the attention of 14 of the world’s top CMOs by writing and recording 14 original tracks for each—a unique showcase of the power of audio in advertising.
Describe the brief or inspiration behind your project/campaign. What was your team tasked with?
Marketers have treated digital audio ads like an afterthought, creating a major problem for Spotify Advertising. Of the total 2021 U.S. advertising spend ($296.4 billion), digital audio channels captured just 1% ($3.2 billion). And most of that 1% went to bigger players like Google, Facebook and Amazon. So Spotify had a dual mission: Convince our B2B target to prioritize digital audio ads, and meaningfully differentiate ourselves from behemoths like Google, Amazon and Facebook to drive consideration.
Spotify had a dual mission: Convince our B2B target to prioritize digital audio ads and meaningfully differentiate ourselves from behemoths like Google, Amazon and Facebook to drive consideration.FCB New York Team
Walk us through your process. What steps did you take to bring your idea to life?
Spotify had tried in the past to do traditional B2B advertising. It didn’t work. It’s just hard to break through the media planning inertia. It’s easy to tell a CMO to spend money with Facebook, Google or Amazon. We had to create a new marketing playbook. To show CMOs they should change up theirs. With a $0 paid media budget, we took on the creative challenge of proving how engaging Spotify is — with something far more engaging than a paid B2B ad. We knew that getting CMOs excited about Spotify Advertising would drive broader consideration with other marketers and, in turn, drive revenue for Spotify overall. Our solution to the creative challenge: As the world’s leading music streaming service (not just an ad platform), we harnessed the captivating power of music. The exact music that individual CMOs tuned in to. Using data on 14 CMOs’ tastes and listening habits, we created “A Song for Every CMO” — 14 original, silly-yet-serious tribute songs written for 14 CMOs demonstrating how engaged they are with the platform and spotlighting the creative potential of Spotify Advertising overall. First, each song was treated like a new single and released at a key moment in the media planning calendar. The songs became part of a public Spotify playlist, which truly demonstrated the deep engagement and creativity that only Spotify can deliver (and in turn, our audience’s love for the platform). Then, we delivered the songs as scannable platinum records, which made each CMO feel extra special and gave them a keepsake that could serve as a conversation piece and continue to drive word of mouth for years to come. Finally, we used PR and LinkedIn to fuel awareness and engagement. Not only did this give each CMO a special moment of fame, it made other CMOs excited and eager to have a song of their own. Plus, we knew many more marketers read industry trades like Ad Age and would actively consider Spotify Advertising upon reading about the effort.
Why is it important for you to solve this challenge. Why now?
Even though Spotify’s engagement levels are 23% higher than ANY OTHER MEDIUM, digital audio represents less than 2% of media buy and is often seen as an afterthought to marketers. It was crucial that we leverage Spotify’s engagement levels to show how targeted and breakthrough B2B creative can be.
Describe your process for creating award winning B2B work. How is creativity at the center of how you work?
Lets face it, B2B advertising has a reputation of being boring. But, B2B doesn’t have to mean Business to Boring. By fostering creativity as an economic multiplier, we generated millions of impressions, double-digit quarter-over-quarter growth, explosive engagement and record revenue all while spending $0 on paid ads. Instead of being dry and technical, we were personal and musical. Instead of aimlessly speaking to swathes of marketers, we wrote songs for individual CMOs. If you want your work to bring economic results, creativity has to be your asset.
How did the final product meet or exceed your expectations? What results did you see?
Spotify: A Song for Every CMO exceeded our expectations by not only creating bold work, but inspiring other key marketing leaders to want to be involved. Turns out, when you target only 14 out of 72,677 CMOs, the rest of them take notice. The CMOs loved their songs, shared them with the world, shared them with other CMOs and seemingly within minutes of dropping our CMO playlist, the industry and mainstream media took notice too. Our songs became a hit on the B2B internet. Excitement and word of mouth on professional social networks like LinkedIn drove song streams and brand consideration, fueled in part by enthusiastic posts from some of our targeted CMOs. The #S4ECMO hashtag sparked conversation among influential marketers on LinkedIn and almost overnight Spotify advertising was top of every CMO’s mind. We hit nearly 4 million impressions within five days, 184,986 people visited our website, and the songs were so popular, we had other CMOs asking for their own songs, leading to a whole second batch released last year.
A lot of teams have challenges keeping a campaign idea simple, especially if multiple contributors were involved. How did you ensure that your project remained true to the idea and on brand all the way from brief to launch?
The key to ensuring a project remains true to the core idea from brief to launch really comes down to the partnership with your client. At FCB New York, our clients are not people we work with for a task at hand or to solve a business problem. Our clients are truly our partners who need to be bought into an idea before we make it award winning.
For A Song for Every CMO, our partners at Spotify believed and understood our out-of-the-box insight which allowed this campaign to work so cohesively, while involving so many individuals.
Did you utilize LinkedIn in executing this project? What role does LinkedIn play in your greater B2B marketing strategy? (i.e. case studies, newsletters, etc.)
LinkedIn helped our team leverage knowledge on marketing leaders we showcased in our campaign, A Song for Every CMO. Spotify allowed us to gain insight on marketing leaders’ music tastes, and LinkedIn helped us round out that data by showing what type of work these leaders put out into the world.
What were some of your biggest learning and takeaways from this project?
One of the biggest takeaways after being a part of Spotify: A Song for Every CMO is meant not only for us, but for the industry. The usual quest for impressions, views and likes being audacious and complex, doesn’t always end up standing true. Sometimes, you can more effectively reach your audience, especially in B2B, by using hyper targeted marketing. All in all – creating economic multiplying work doesn’t always equate to garnering the most impressions, just the right ones.
To be a Webby winner is truly reflective of the work we did with Spotifty; cutting through the noise among the internet to find our winning audience.FCB New York Team