I’m not Gen X, but even I was drawn into the wit and charm of Spotify’s new campaign, Listen like you used to. As Abi Singmin notes, there’s nothing quite like a brand that understands you. Three brilliant observations by Singmin, design director, Landor, about creativity that packs a punch in this month’s edition of 3 Ads That Wowed Me.
Here they are:
The New York Times – The Truth Has a Voice: Gender Equality [Droga5, New York]
This is the outstanding sequel to the New York Times series that swept up at this year’s awards, and it’s the one from the campaign that has struck me the hardest. Aired during the US Open semi-final, the ad highlights the long fight for equal pay that women athletes have faced. Every distinctive asset of this ad is paired back – the typography, copywriting, colours, images, sound. Less really is more, and it’s this restraint that creates such a powerful tension. There’s a feeling of journalism with the space, pace and punch of words and images – minimal, intelligent, visually and audibly striking. A powerful execution that demonstrates how impactful total simplicity can be.
Heinz – Pour perfectly [Rethink, Canada]
It’s pretty unique for a brand to reach a level where it owns a distinctive asset without having to say it. Well this one has really brought a smile to my mind. This simple tweak to the iconic ketchup bottle was a gift for a brand that quietly owns an action – something not many brands can say they have. Yes, some do have a ritual – the lime to the Corona, the break to the Kit Kat, the ‘Tsck…pshh…’ of a Coke, but there are few that lay claims to a physical action, and furthermore to a geometric angle. Well, this is one of those lateral thinking applications that has comedically lent a hand to a product pain-point. And it’s one of those simple ideas that you wish you’d thought of.
There’s no need to reinvent a brand with such legacy, just look for those gems that tap into the nostalgia of why people buy and love it. It’s pick-me-up shelf standout if ever I saw it, and such a smart approach to brand-building that looks as if it cost less than a grocery shop to do.
Spotify – Listen like you used to [Who Wot Why, London]
Hats off, Spotify – you’ve nailed it! I get every reference and every reference gets me. As a Gen-Xer who lives for music, I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt so understood by an ad.
So how can six words make you laugh and bring so much emotion in one go? This is real creativity born from a perfect insight which, once again, uses the simplicity of an idea and its execution to make it such a winner.
It’s the power of great copywriting together with a visually engaging design – one that is joyful and eye-catching, offering the perfect balance of elements in a single layout. It’s clever because you don’t get it unless you read it, and you can’t not read it. And then to the unsung hero – Listen like you used to.
Off the back of this, I would sign up to Spotify Premium again if I could. Well, I guess you’ve just made me a more loyal user than I already was, Spotify. Brand-building at its finest.