Spotify creates a soundtrack for Canada

With its first major Canadian campaign, the streaming service is courting local credibility

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Spotify Canada has launched its first major marketing campaign since entering the Canadian market last September.

Called “Music For Your World,” the new Anomaly-created campaign promotes a series of playlists the streaming service created to celebrate Canadian neighbourhoods in four major markets: Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

For example, one playlist, “King of the city,” includes songs that are popular in Toronto’s downtown core, while “Stan’s the man” is inspired by Vancouver’s Stanley Park neighbourhood.

According to Spotify Canada’s head of marketing, Jamie Herbert, the company dug into its data to find the most popular songs in its highest-streaming neighbourhoods. From there, Spotify’s in-house editors added additional tracks to make the playlists cohesive and rounded them out with suggestions from local bloggers and other aficionados.

Herbert said the company chose to work with influencers on the campaign because it’s mainly a word-of-mouth brand. Montreal’s Westmount Fashionista, Vancouver’s The Style Spy and Calgary’s The Style Guys all worked on playlists for their cities. Hebert said Spotify intends to extend its neighbhourhoods strategy long past the end of the campaign cycle, and will continue to create new Canadian playlists inspired by “other cities, iconic places and neighbourhoods.”

Each piece of campaign creative showcases a different playlist. Backed by a media buy from Universal McCann, the ads will run on billboards and transit in the neighbourhoods they celebrate. Online, the streaming service is also running a series of banner and display ads.

Spotify is also planning a responsive social media initiative as part of the campaign. Using social listening, Herbert said the brand is reaching out to listeners that post about music. For example, if someone posts that they are going to see a band in concert, Spotify might send them a custom playlist of 15 of that band’s most popular songs.

It is also running a promotion to coincide with the campaign offering three months of Spotify for 99 cents.

Thanks to its global presence, Herbert said Spotify’s brand awareness in Canada is high, though he declined to provide specific numbers. Instead of introducing the brand to Canadians, the company’s looking to achieve local credibility with “Music For Your World.”

Herbert said Spotify is eager to be seen as a local player and has made efforts in its first six months here to showcase local talent and connect with influential people in Canadian music. Its mission statement for Canada, he said, is to “deliver a service that’s very much customized to the Canadian audience.”

“This campaign is really the marketing manifestation of that strategy,” he said.

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