By Adam Harvey on Wed, 03/27/2013
I saw an ad for Spotify the other night while I was watching the season premiere of NBC’s The Voice (So excited for this season! I don’t want to like Blake Sheldon, but I do). I thought to myself “Huh. I didn’t know Spotify was advertising on TV now!” After a little investigating, I found two more new Spotify ads on YouTube. This is a big move for the on-demand music service, and rumor has it that Spotify is planning to add video streaming to its existing music service to compete with Netflix and HBO. In light of that, the big-time marketing push makes sense. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. Let’s dish about the ads, shall we?
The first ad entitled “For Music” is a little dramatic for my taste. The copy tries way too hard to be deep and emotional, but it comes off as hollow and kinda creepy. For example, the line “We were all conceived to a 4-4 beat,” conjures up images of my parents doing, well, um, er … you know. It’s creepy. I’m also wondering why they reference the Beatles when Spotify does not stream the Beatles? I wish the ad agency had done a little more homework and tried a little less hard to stir emotions, but I can forgive that. Not everyone is as good as the folks who wrote Apple’s “Think Different” slogan.
A second spot called “Getting Weird” struck me as a little bit better than “For Music,” but I still found it lacking. I had to look really hard to make sure the guy who was dancing wasn’t holding his underpants in his hand. At first I even thought it was some guys in a locker room and one was going to snap the others with a wet towel. And the line “I’m dancing like a dupe tonight?” I didn’t know what a “dupe” was. I guess it means “fool?” Maybe I’m just out of touch with what the kids are saying these days, but I had to watch it a couple of times to make sure I heard it right. I’m still not sure. Maybe he’s saying “dude?” In all, I think this ad was a little stronger than “For Music.” I wasn’t creeped out (except for the possible underpants thing), and it wasn’t a lame attempt to try to move me to tears.
I thought the third spot was the strongest. It’s called “Her Song,” and it successfully evokes the power of music to transcend time and transport us to a different place in our hearts and minds. It was short and to the point but if I didn’t already know what Spotify was, I’d be confused.
Despite the issues I had with the ads, I think all three were beautifully shot. I was surprised, however, by the lack of actual music in them. Why no music, Spotify? Maybe this is a way to bridge the gap between streaming music and streaming video? Hmmmm…
No matter what though, I love Spotify. That’s why I’m still excited about this campaign even though I feel slightly disappointed in the execution of the ads themselves. If I were Spotify, I would have chosen to talk about what Spotify actually is. Folks who use Spotify are already converts, so I would have targeted people who have yet to experience the power and the glory of the service itself instead of music in general.
Perhaps the quality of the ads isn't what actually matters. People are talking about Spotify right now, and isn't that the whole point? So, well done, Spotify. We’re talking about you.
What did you iPhone Lifers think of the ads? Were you moved by “For Music” or did you find it creepy?