Technology Spotify Outdoor Advertising

Spotify unwraps the decade's odd listening habits with another billboard campaign


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

December 5, 2019 | 4 min read

Spotify is wrapping up the decade with an out of home (OOH) campaign that encapsulates all the biggest cultural moments, streaming trends and memes that the app inspired with a return of its award-winning 'Wrapped' campaign.

Bonnie Tyler

Spotify again unwraps the decade's odd listening habits in OOH campaign

As Spotify listeners dig into their listening habits this decade (which increasingly features podcasts), a bold OOH campaign is landing in 21 markets, including takeovers of major transport hubs such as New York’s Penn Station. Nine German cities will be blanketed by the campaign, malls will see lighted projections, and each station in Sao Paulo’s yellow line will celebrate a different year of music.

Now to the creative. Above we see an ad documenting streams of Bonnie Tyler-banger Total Eclipse of the Heart. People are increasingly relying upon the 80s classic to get through the day.

But the Swedish audio streamer also explored the curious rise in listens for a song so bad its good, people can't stop listening. Rebecca Black's Friday still enjoys heavy usage on Fridays.


'All I Want for Christmas is You' by Mariah Carey also features. The artist is a cornerstone of Spotify's Christmas campaign and she has assembled a playlist populated exclusively with that song. At London’s Westfield mall, Spotify said it will "transform Mariah Carey’s dress into a holiday wonderland with snowfall floating across our board", showing a crossover between digital and physical executions.

Mariah Carey

Lil Nas X and BTS are other artists included in the campaign that will also span digital, social and TV.

Wrapped has run annually since 2017. The debut campaign unveiled that someone had created an ‘I Love Gingers’ playlist, mostly populated by Ed Sheeran. ‘Man’s Not Hot’ by Big Shaq was streamed almost 43m times. And there were a lot of streams of a playlist called ‘Boozy Brunch’ at least suggesting someone out there was having fun.

Then in 2018, the campaign made a return. Baby Shark dominated. A very specific Royal Wedding playlist was created. And there were 367 ‘calm meditation’ playlists and one ‘clam meditation’ playlist.

This year, start-up bank Revolut subverted the campaign, by revealing spending insights about its specific users. It was later found to have fabricated the figures as a parody of the campaign. Spotify creatives dubbed it a “cover” campaign.

And now we have Wrapped's return, just as the year closes.

Coming down the line are a series of brand films and surprise partnerships which harness Spotify’s data and insights to celebrate the odder listening habits fans have. This includes the personalised ‘Wrapped’ experience enabling music fans to relive a decade of music.

Alex Bodman, global executive creative director at Spotify, commented: “How do you dance to a decade’s worth of data? Especially when the last ten years have been so wild and had such a compelling soundtrack. With a Decade Wrapped, we celebrate and show appreciation for the fortunate role we’ve been able to play over the last decade: connecting the world’s best fans with the world’s best creators.

"We hope we’ll remind people of the moments this decade that inspired them to smile, share, laugh - or sometimes just scratch their head. In many ways, it’s a campaign ten years in the making.”

Vote for the campaign in The Drum's Creative Works.

Spotify: Wrapped 2019

By Spotify

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Spotify is a music, podcast, and video streaming service that was officially launched on 7 October 2008. It is developed by startup Spotify AB in Stockholm, Sweden....

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