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How Spotify turned up the volume for its UK advertisers

Spotify won the ‘Commercial Team of the Year’ category at The Drum Online Media Awards 2019 with its ‘Turning up the volume on better advertising’ campaign.

The challenge

To deliver on its unique opportunity for UK advertisers, and reach revenue targets, during 2019 the UK ad sales team focused on developing the diverse skill sets of its team of salespeople, client service managers, strategists and planners.

Their goals were simple: drive positive growth, win share of digital marketing budgets and create an effective and inclusive culture among the ad sales team.

The strategy

Please see some of the award-winning work that helped contribute to the winning of their award:

One campaign for Snickers, The Hunger Spotter, for which they worked alongside MediaCom, has won no fewer than 10 industry awards, including Gold for Best Use of Data for Audience Buying at the Media Week awards. The campaign targeted those listening to different musical genres than usual, as a sign that they were hungry, echoing Snickers’ iconic “You’re not you when you’re hungry” message and playing them a Snickers audio ad in the style of their favourite music genre.

The Sport England This Girl Can campaign also made creative use of data and targeted female listeners who had listened to workout playlists in the past, but not recently, to encourage them back to exercise at the beginning of the year. This campaign received significant positive press coverage.

The Smirnoff Equaliser campaign gave Spotify users insight into their own listening behaviour. The tool analysed how many male and female artists users had listened to, as well as generating playlists so the user could choose what percentage of male and female artists featured, thus allowing Smirnoff to be part of an important cultural conversation about gender equality in music.

Their work with non-profit advertisers, such as National Citizen Service (NCS) has proved Spotify can have a big impact, even with smaller budgets. They used our streaming intelligence to identify the top artists NCS’ youth target audience listened to, creating an engaging content series that grew awareness of NCS by 27%.

Spotify convinced brands such as Adidas - that have never done any audio advertising before - that Spotify was the right platform to do it. In this case the result was a personalised running playlist for the 2.1 million monthly active UK users streaming running playlists every month, complete with tracks selected based on beats per minute, encouraging runners to go further and faster. Adidas saw a 19% increase in purchase consideration following the campaign.

Spotify is also proud of its collaboration with Nabs, Creative Equals, Ad London Calling, S4S Initiative, Bima, Media Trust and Wacl. Spotify was the only global digital platform to sign up for NABS’ TimeTo initiative and has one of the most significant presences at London Pride.


“When we engage with the Spotify team we know that we will immediately unlock significant value for our clients. Intelligent teams with access to unique insight and stunning activation makes working with them an exciting and often groundbreaking experience. I’m impressed by the restlessness that exists from top to bottom inside Spotify, we definitely benefit from their desire to adapt ahead of the market.” - Tim Pearson, chief executive, MGOMD

“Spotify felt like a really good fit for Samaritans; it felt like the perfect platform because listening is at the heart of what the user does.” - Katie Columbus, assistant director of brand and engagement, Samaritans.

This project was a winner at The Drum Online Media Awards 2019. To find out which Drum Awards are currently open for entry, click here.