MIXX Awards Europe Winners 2019 – Spotify for Brands Virtual Reality House Tour (Spotify)
Spotify for Brands Virtual Reality House Tour
Awards: Virtual and Augmented Reality (Silver)
Spotify Business Marketing is responsible for driving demand for Spotify’s advertising business and keeping Spotify top-of-mind with media buyers and brands through experiential, digital and social campaigns. Spotify operates a freemium model with more than 116 million people globally enjoying advertisements on the free, ad-supported tier; however, many media buyers and brand marketers are Spotify Premium subscribers and do not regularly engage with the Spotify ad experience. Common feedback from the ad sales team was that buyers didn’t understand the basics about how ads are shown on the platform and what the opportunities are for targeting. Verbally explaining the look and feel of ad formats can be a dry experience. Spotify Business Marketing needed to find a differentiated, impressive, creatively inspiring way to showcase our ad products. VR was the answer.
- Objectives and Strategy
– Drive advertising revenue growth on Spotify’s ad-supported free tier and highlight Spotify as a tech innovator
– Provide an immersive, “wow” experience that showcases Spotify’s ad products in context and in action to bring Spotify advertising alive
– Create an effective tool that is portable and accessible for groups of 10-20 and can be easily scaled globally
VR allowed us to create a portable, immersive experience.This house only needed to be built once, but could be adapted to the user and then explored by anyone, anywhere wearing a headset.
The global Business Marketing team are able to use the VR CMS to adapt the tool to their local languages and cultures, as well as change the ads and facts displayed within the house. Local teams take the VR headsets to meetings with clients and create opportunities to experience the VR tool at roadshow sessions and tentpole events like Cannes and CES.
- Execution and Media
Typically, the VR tool is used to kick off meetings and events with an attention-grabbing moment that makes attendees see Spotify ads differently. The Sales team then prompt those who’ve experienced the tool to explore what surprised them in what they saw, and what ideas it sparked for integrating their brands into the Spotify platform.
Spotify approached several experiential and VR agencies in the UK to develop this tool, before eventually deciding to work with Manzalab, an agency based in Paris. Manzalab visited Spotify’s London and Paris offices to take inspiration for the design from the interior decoration of our offices and worked closely with our internal design and brand teams to ensure the House was consistent with the Spotify brand identity.
The VR experience begins with a brief voiceover introduction to the tool. Users then find themselves in the central hall of the House and can choose where to go next. There are four doors to open: To a kitchen, a gym, a study and a baby’s room. Each room features a different device, showcasing a different Spotify format within the Spotify user experience and playing a different genre of music. The House also features facts about advertising on Spotify (e.g. on the noticeboard in the study) and “easter egg” interactive elements, like a rocking horse that rocks when you hover over it.
For the ads themselves, we were able to leverage “dummy” ads featuring fictional brands, so as not to tie the experience to any one specific brand; although in some cases, we do insert specific ads from certain brands via the CMS in order to personalize the experience for buyers and marketers working on that brand.
The development of the CMS for the tool was especially significant as it allowed all global teams to quickly and efficiently change elements of the House without additional cost or delays. Further, the CMS makes the tool extremely flexible. For example, at Dmexco 2018, we were able to offer English and German versions of the tool to booth visitors.
Nearly 1,000 Spotify for Brands prospects and clients have experienced the VR tool since launch. By tracking VR tool use in Salesforce, we are able to directly attribute the use of the tool to several hundreds of thousands in additional advertising revenue for the business by noting who has used the tool and who is subsequently marked as a contact on revenue bookings. Use of the tool is ongoing and resulting revenue continues to increase. So far, we’ve seen at least a 5x return on investment in the tool’s development.
In addition to direct impact on revenues, feedback from clients and prospects has been very positive, with most noting how the tool had advanced their understanding of the Spotify ad offering, as well as being fun and entertaining to use.