Data can be beautifully creative

Andi McDermott on July 25, 2017

I’m not a laugh out loud person.


Let me explain.

I don’t laugh out loud when I watch tv, or see a movie, or read something. I can’t explain it, I just find it difficult. In my head it’s a completely different story, I’m laughing and giggling away and thinking that this is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

Which is why I was equal parts confounded and happy when I saw Spotify’s latest campaign as I was driving through Surry Hills. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I can proudly say that Spotify managed to get a smile out of me. You deserve a slow clap.

In their latest out of home campaign, Spotify used data to talk to their users in a way that was both unexpected and funny. Using its enormous amount of listener data, and streaming intelligence, Spotify were able to execute a campaign that highlighted some of the more bizarre habits of its listeners in a certain location.

I’m sorry, but how could you not laugh at this?

The ads, which form part of Spotify’s biggest outdoor campaign ever, use aggregate data and even some individual data, to inspire deceptively simple executions.

While the campaign kicked off internationally seven months ago, it took a little longer to filter down to Oz and has just launched. Spotify’s campaign may seem tongue in cheek, there are some big lessons here for brands:

1. Data isn’t just numbers and it’s not just useful for targeting, it’s useful for driving creativity too.
Any brand can hire a data analyst and get really good at pin-pointing where and when to speak to their audience but the ones that use it to determine ‘how’ to speak to them will drive both hard and soft metrics.

2. The best consumer insight comes from observing people in their own world.
The appeal of this campaign is in the unwritten truth that everyone thinks they’re a bit of a comedian when it comes to ‘labelling’ stuff (imagine if a bank did this for cash transfers between friends!) so can instantly relate to the copywriting. It’s the same appeal that Goggle Box has.

But the biggest lesson for brands is in my personal experience of the campaign. I lolled. And I never lol. It shows that women like humour. They like funny stuff. Connecting with women isn’t all about pulling on the heartstrings and making them feel something profound. Not everything has to have a deeply moving, emotional message attached. Sometimes, you just want to laugh.

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