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Smirnoff close to inking deal with Spotify in Europe as it firms dance music association

Smirnoff is close to finalising a partnership with Spotify in Europe as part of plans to deepen the vodka brand’s connection to dance music.

The brand's marketing manager for Western Europe, Dan Hatton, explained to The Drum that it builds on digital activity it ran with Spotify in the US earlier this year when it introduced its ‘Exclusively for Everybody’ global brand positioning.

The second wave of this push launched earlier this week with a new TV ad which dismissed pretentious nights out and used the strapline “Filter the unnecessary. Keep the good stuff”.

Although the finer details of the partnership are yet to be confirmed, the plan is that Smirnoff will “filter” and recommend an ad-free dance music playlist for fans on the platform based on the kind of artists they listen to.

“It’s really important that we don’t just display adverts in places where consumers go to enjoy themselves and instead we try and enhance the experience,” said Hatton.

He added that it was just as important the activity was authentic for the brand, which has a “rich history” with dance music, going back to the likes of the Night Life Exchange Project from 2010 when it encouraged the world to ‘swap nightlifes’.

More recently, it worked with DJ duo Psychemagik on the track which features in the new advert and is now planning to release it as a single via Spotify, SoundCloud and their own platforms.

Hatton said he hopes that the activity over the next six months will help establish an emotional connection between Smirnoff and dance music fans in the same way sister Diageo-owned brand Guinness has with rugby and Johnnie Walker has with Formula 1.

The deal with Spotify – which is still in the negotiations phase – is expected to close in the coming weeks.

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