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How Spotify and Omnigov turned up the volume on modern slavery

The campaign highlighted the most common signs of modern slavery.

Spotify and Omnigov were highly commended in the 'Most Effective Use of Data’ category, at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2020. Their campaign for The UK Government focused on the issue of modern slavery. Read how they used audio advertising to stand out in a crowded city landscape.

The challenge

As an unseen crime, modern slavery hides in takeaways, hotels, car washes, nail bars and even private homes. The Home Office predicts there might as many as 13, 000 victims in the UK.

Modern slavery is quite often misperceived and the public are often not aware that it could include those

  • Forced to work through mental or physical threat, owned and controlled by an ‘employer’.
  • Dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as ‘property’.
  • Physically constrained, with restrictions placed on his/her freedom.

Frontline staff like nurses and bank workers are often in a position to help, but are unaware of potential warning signs. The Home Office and the Cabinet Office wanted to ensure that key workers in London knew what to look out for, and know how to take action.

London is busy with advertising, so this needed to be a high impact campaign that cut through the noise. It was perceived as a top priority from the Government, especially with modern slavery making headlines in the wake of the Essex lorry deaths.

The strategy

OmniGov reached out to Spotify to find a creative solution to increase tangible awareness for this campaign. Spotify identified music as an access point, with the average Spotify Free user spending 2.5 hours per day on the platform across devices.

Spotify and OmniGov were able to use Spotify’s media platform to tell this story effectively through creative audio. Realising that visual cues are sometimes missed, Spotify utilised the power of audio to capture that ’something just wasn't right’ feeling that might lead one to notice someone in distress.

Backed by research that found hearing off-beat notes or misplaced beats creates a feeling of unease, the team empowered listeners to spot red flags and report signs of modern slavery by calling the hotline.

The campaign

Bespoke musical compositions were created to feature in the audio advertising. Based on the target demographic - people aged 30 and over, in London - Spotify identified the three highest indexing genres. The team then created three audio bespoke adverts in those genres: Rock, Pop and Hip Hop. These were produced with careful consideration of the key messages, tone and creative direction.

The results

The campaign delivered 5.8m impressions from 25 November to 22 December. The hotline saw over a hundred inquiries that month - up from zero before the campaign started. This indicated a momentous step in achieving both awareness of and action against modern slavery. No other related media was running at the time of this spike in calls.

“Modern Slavery has been at the top of news agendas in the last few months so it was important for us to find a partner that could drive cut through whilst still remaining sensitive to the overall message. Spotify met both of these objectives with a disruptive creative execution that made listeners stop and take note and drive home the important messaging surrounding Modern Slavery. Both ourselves and the client have been impressed with the processes and handling of this campaign from start to finish and initial results show that the bespoke creative has made a significant uplift in calls to the modern slavery helpline.” - Mandy Arora, client lead, OmniGov

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing in 2020. To find out which competitions in The Drum Awards are currently open for entries, click here.