The one thing Romania, the Czech Republic, Israel, and Hungary all have in common is their unrelenting love for music. That, and Spotify. This is why for their latest campaign they teamed up with Leo Burnett Bucharest to provide an epic viewing experience for audiences in the form of a three-film campaign, highlighting the power of connecting over music.
Although very different culturally, the four markets were all approached by the Leo Burnett and Spotify teams with a “single distinctive approach, that can also be hyper-localised,” shared Victor Stroe, head of strategy & associate director at the agency.
The three films encompass three vastly different scenarios, all related by amazing music - ‘The Emotional Gangster’, ‘The Nerdy Gang’ and ‘The Trapper Family’. Although seemingly random and somewhat disconnected from the music, the three films intentionally targeted exactly the audiences that they portrayed, to match them up with their music (for example grannies listening to trap). And while Andrei Nica, deputy creative director at Leo Burnett Bucharest, admits that it was a slight challenge to teach old ladies how to dance to trap music, it was all worth it in the end, with excellent execution and fabulous feedback from audiences.
LBB’s Zoe Antonov spoke to Victor and Andrei to find out about the insights that informed the campaign, how it resonates with Spotify’s brand values, and more.
LBB> What was the brief for this campaign and what were the initial conversations surrounding it?
Victor> Our brief was to build one campaign that was meaningful for four culturally very different markets (Romania, Czech Republic, Israel and Hungary), with one single distinctive approach that can also be easily hyper-localised by the countries. The core value that stood behind Spotify was connection, music having this amazing superpower of connecting us no matter how different we are.
LBB> Tell me more about the relationship between yourselves and Spotify - how creatively involved was the brand in the vision for the project?
Andrei> It was one of those ideal scenarios where you find yourself clicking with the marketing team early in the chemistry meeting. It started great, and it kept going as we were given total creative freedom right until the online edit and beyond, as we encompassed the brand’s tone of voice and approach in our work. Drama lovers, look away.
LBB> This campaign aimed to shed light on the platform's diverse range of creators - how did you translate that to the audiences?
Andrei> The great thing about Spotify is that it proved that every artist has an audience. An even greater thing is that sometimes each artist’s audience is truly surprising, and that’s precisely what we tried to show in our campaign.
LBB> The three films are very different from each other but equally crazy and random. How did you set on these three stories and what does each of them represent?
Victor> The ads look crazy and random, but in fact, they aren’t. The truth is that there shouldn’t be stereotypes regarding people and the genre of music they are listening to. If we look at young people’s playlists, they are superbly eclectic, they are listening to such a wide range of types of music at all times. Therefore, our stories are matching up people and their music, which for some might look surprising at first glance.
Andrei> Each story has a different target audience in focus, so building unique universes for each of them was a crucial part of our creative process. We were also blessed to work with a highly talented director who brought our three stories to life in the most beautiful way possible. Big hug, again, for Sidney Van Wichelen.
LBB> What were your considerations when creating the films that would go to a few markets beyond the Romanian market? What is the common denominator between these markets, if there is any, and what are they all looking for when watching the campaign?
Victor> The fact that the campaign was launched in four markets was probably our main strategic and executional concern. Strategically, we needed to be insightful for very different cultures with different musical particularities, and the ads needed to be easily adapted for each country. The common denominator, the reason why people react to the campaign everywhere, is that the music makes us feel the same, no matter who we are. The connection through music transcends any possible cultural barriers
LBB> How did you pick the creators that will be featured in the campaign and what was the process like? Did you work with them directly and, if yes, what was that experience like?
Andrei> The artists were picked together with the Spotify team to be as relevant as possible. Nevertheless, we had our favourites, and, lucky for us, the brand team were sharing the same vibe. This made the whole production process even more thrilling, especially after the first discussions in which we learned that all the artists absolutely loved the scripts.
LBB> What was the most fun experience from filming the project?
Andrei> We had three exciting days to shoot the whole project, but some of the most fun moments happened when we all behaved like groupies when the artists were on set.
LBB> And what was most challenging?
Andrei> Thankfully we had a very smooth shooting experience, but we must say that teaching our lovely grandmas to act like in a trap music video proved to be quite challenging.
LBB> How long did the campaign take from beginning to end?
Andrei> It took around two and a half months. This includes the chemistry meeting, winning the pitch, pre-production, production, and post-production. Not too shabby for us, right?
LBB> Any final thoughts?
Victor> The feedback we received for the campaign was amazing, not only in Romania, but everywhere it was present. The instant gratification was fantastic, and we are fired up for the next chapter.