Why Spotify's personalised playlist "Wrapped" campaign was the perfect New Year's gift

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Why Spotify's personalised playlist "Wrapped" campaign was the perfect New Year's gift

Happy New Year

That’s it. The Christmas marketing season is all over. 

And as we return to work, count the cost/effect of our hard work, it is always an interesting exercise to look back at the campaigns, the work, the headlines, and the ads to see if you can remember, let alone still like any of it!

Having made a few myself over the years, I admit it can be a little depressing looking back at Christmas ads in January. 

And frankly the 2020 Christmas brief has already been worked on for a good month or so. 

But to go forward we need to know where we have been...

What made the cut?

So what of 2019’s efforts? 

Honourable mentions go out to annual emotional heart-string pullers, John Lewis of course, Sainsbury’s and the cracker that was IKEA ‘Silence the critics’. 

But for me the standout campaign was Spotify’s returning ‘Wrapped’ campaign.

It went for a more personal approach and celebrated what we listened to in 2019 and this year the with bonus ‘end-of-the-decade’ spin it really resonated with me and meant it included a few surprise tunes - Don Henley, The Boys of Summer... anyone else? 

A gift of an idea

I’ve always been a little underwhelmed by data-driven ads. 

A bit cold for my taste and just because we have data, it doesn't mean we should ‘play it back’ or broadcast it - insert some sort of GDPR gag here - but ‘Wrapped’ was personal, genuinely engaging and nicely crafted to boot. 

It was a lovely little gift from a brand that users love, share, even curate like no other and like all great advertising it entertained and informed. 

It also has a durability that most brand work can only dream of achieving, my ‘2018 Wrapped’ playlist is still on heavy rotation.

There was even a hint of a meme powered backlash, ‘no I don’t care about your wrapped’, probably from Apple Music subscribers, and a few hastily put together copycat campaigns, hello Trainline, which, of course, all helped spread the campaign even further.

Personal touch

There were a few nice posters as well - a nod to the legendary Sunday Times Rich List work from a few years back - and a semi-interesting press release covering what the world listened to... but the gold was the personalised in-app execution. 

Lots of interesting data points and -ahem- content in the unmistakable Spotify brand style, inspiring users to ignore other entertainment providers and indulge in a trip back through the soundtrack of 2019.

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Aaron Cole

Aaron Cole

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