Sennheiser partners with Spotify to take on Beats in new global campaign

Bruno Zamborlin of Mogees

German audio manufacturer Sennheiser has launched a seven-figure campaign as it looks to snatch some of the 18-34 year-old consumer demographic for its Momentum line of headphones.

The What’s Your Momentum campaign marks a dramatic shift in the company’s marketing strategy as it looks to engage consumers via social media and put its musical ‘ambassadors’ in the spotlight.

Having partnered with Spotify for a "large traffic generation contract", Sennheiser is hoping the campaign, which relies heavily on user generated content, will reach 24 million active users worldwide.

Marketing director Steve Dalton told The Drum that the Momentum headphones have been created specifically with the 18-34 year old target audience in mind.

“The Momentum line of headphones really are designed and purposefully built for this target group who are looking for an over-sized headphone on the go. But really a good looking headphone and a strong product in its own right is not the be all and end all and the marketing campaign that we developed for this which we’ve deemed ‘What’s Your Momentum’ was created very shortly after that to raise awareness of the product line.”

Dalton said the brand needed to find a campaign that meant “a little bit more than advertising a product”, and that Sennheiser, which has been in the marketplace for 70 years, wanted to go one step further and bring in the brand’s tagline, The Pursuit of Perfect Sound.

This aim has been achieved by bringing on board so-called brand ambassadors, essentially musical artists that are already users of Sennheiser products, but who are ‘pushing the boundaries’ of sound.

“We started to look outside of our immediate artist network and say, ok who is pushing the boundaries of sound, who is pushing audio at the next level, who is doing some really interesting projects – not just singing into a microphone, not just playing a musical instrument but really taking audio to the next level.”

Those ambassadors include UK based Disclosure, Imogen Heap, Di Mainstone and Bruno Zamborlin of Mogees.

Speaking about competing with rival brands such as Beats by Dre and Skullcandy, which have amassed a large following from the youth sector, Dalton said that Sennheiser’s long-term relationship with its ambassadors and the quality of its products would help the brand find its voice.

“I think where we stand out actually is the relationship we’ve had with them [ambassadors] well before any of our competitors even came to the market so we’ve got an amazing head start on some of these brands. I think our main challenge is just to emotionalise some of the content that we’ve got actually in front of our finger tips that we don’t necessarily use to our best advantage.”

The campaign is being spearheaded in the UK with a three- day marketing event in Covent Garden, where a giant cube structure has been created to celebrate ‘the personal sound bubble’ commuters enter while travelling from A to B.

Open from 19-21 June, the public will be invited to visit the installation and ‘play the walls’ through the help of Moment campaign ambassador and technology start-up, Mogees.

To encourage user-generated content to drive participation and viral uptake, Sennheiser is asking “What’s your Momentum?”, creating the social aspect of the campaign as consumers are invited to watch 100 films that showcase the work of its ambassadors and upload their own seven-second videos to showcase their creativity.

A core part of the project is building “video chains” – where users can connect their videos to other stories that share the same themes or ideas.

The films have already garnered 2.7 million views on YouTube pre-roll during May with a further 450,000 views on the Sennhesier website.

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