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Ads We Like: Spotify's quirky ads get 80s and 90s nostalgic while aging appropriately


By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

September 17, 2019 | 3 min read

In a bid to set tongues wagging from Gen X, Spotify's 'Listen Like You Used To' campaign conjures up nostalgia for tracks from the 80s and 90s.

Created by Who Wot Why, the campaign features a series of quirky, cultural creatives that hark back to well-loved music, targeting an audience of listeners who grew up from 1979 to 1999.

Through clever wordplay of classic lyrics, artists and track names, the bold ads aim to remind passers-by that while life may change, classic songs remain the same.

Spotify Spice Girls

The ads cover a variety of genres including the English reggae band UB40, American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins and Britpop darlings The Spice Girls.

One creative goes back to 1979, when The Clash released their apocalyptic and politically charged song - 'London Calling.' Fast forward 40 years where 'conference calling' is the sad reality.

Smashing Pumpkins

Another ad references the UK's party past, with the Happy Monday's '24 Hour Party People.' Drug fuelled nights at Manchester's Hacienda was the norm back then, now in 2019 the ad modifies the name of the classic song and the subsequent 2002 movie, to say 'you're 2-4 hour party people.'

Although the campaign goes live this week with animated social and online video, it has already created a buzz on Twitter after 'Listen Like You Used To' popped up on out-of-home billboards nationwide and on the sides of London's buses.

Olga Puzanova, Spotify’s UK marketing director, said: “We had a lot of fun in the office looking back over the most well-loved tracks and artists from our listeners’ younger years, and coming up with creatives to update them for 2019. We all have a soundtrack to our lives and know how nostalgic songs can be that were popular or released when we were growing up. We’re delighted that people are already starting to celebrate how we’ve brought that to life with our‘ Listen Like You Used To’ campaign, and are adding their own spins on the campaign creatives.”

Spotify: Listen Like You Used To by Who Wot Why

By Spotify

Overall Rating 5/5

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