Nikita Mishra
Jul 1, 2022

Behind Spotify's new Southeast Asia campaign

EXCLUSIVE: Campaign talks to Jan-Paul Jeffrey, Spotify’s head of marketing, on the streamer's latest regional campaign for Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines.

A still from Spotify's 'Magic of Music' campaign
A still from Spotify's 'Magic of Music' campaign

Spotify has kicked off its brand-new ‘Magic of Music’ campaign in Southeast Asia—its biggest and most ambitious regional campaign to date which will run across social, television, OOH and digital from July 1.

Developed in collaboration with agency partner Juice, the campaign uses intuitive insights from consumer’s daily lives to spotlight how music can help turnaround the most mundane, frustrating, and ordinary situations into 'magic'. The campaign features seven films created for Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia revolving around a central theme that the right soundtrack can help navigate tricky situations.

The creatives for each country were produced with local ethos in mind. For example, would-be lovers in Philippines are transformed from a jeepney to a visionary flower-field through music, three friends turn into weeping messes through the power of 'Nont Tanont' (Unniversary) in Thailand, and a crowded bus ride in Indonesia becomes a private-car jam-out with Eva Cecilia and her sensational songs.

Surprise 'Easter egg' moments with local music artists have been weaved in to capitalise on Gen Z and millennial fandom, drive engagement and conversation. For instance, in the video above, hit hip-hop star Shanti Dope makes a cameo as a jeepney driver for Philippines; Nont Tanont and The Toys along with his mother, 90's popstar Nittaya Bunsungnern, appear in the Thailand creative; and  Rizky Febian, Eva Celia and MALIQ & D’Essentials make special appearances in the Indonesia film.

Campaign Asia-Pacific caught up with Jan-Paul Jeffrey, Spotify’s head of marketing, Southeast Asia, on this new campaign. Incidentally, Jeffrey was recently named to Campaign's 2022 Power List

Jan-Paul Jeffrey

Tell us about the significance of these films.

With this campaign we really wanted to bring to life the magical power of music. You can be sitting in a taxi, a park or at home, but music has the ability to change the dull, awkward, boring moments into something bigger, better, bolder.

We took everyday situations, like a jeepney ride in Philippines, or a wedding in Indonesia, to show how music can uplift and elevate the mood in interesting ways. Since we are a youth-focused brand, we have surprise cameos from some amazing local artists—I like to call these 'Easter egg' moments. We've thrown them in to excite the fandom, bring the artist and the community closer and start a conversation. The ultimate goal is to cement Spotify as Asia’s destination for music. 

What insights did you rely on for this campaign?

We took a deep look at the Spotify power and what difference music can make in people’s lives. We coupled that with localised consumer insights, statistics like how many times Fillipinos say ‘love’ in a conversation and what's the top grossing movie genre in the country—it's romance. So we really tried to dial into that. In Thailand, humour is more slapstick, and we picked up on that. And in Indonesia, consumers really want entertainment from any campaign they watch—these microtrends became the foundation of the campaign and we built it up from there.

Some markets in Southeast Asia are still reeling under pandemic-induced restrictions. What were the challenges in making a campaign of this scale?

Yes, so filming was tricky. The complexity is in managing resources in an ever-changing market which is coming in and out of shutdowns. Logistics aside, the biggest challenge for the brand was to collate local marketing insights, and some sort of 'human truth', then to marry that with data and bring to life a creative in interesting, fun, local ways.

We are also passionate about giving local artists a global stage, so that was integral to the campaign. At the end of the day, at Spotify, we’re also the audience, our mission is to enable artists to live off their art and for us to enjoy their art.

What lies ahead for Spotify in the region?

We’ve got lots of exciting plans in the pipeline. We’ve had #SpotifyLyrics which brought to life real-time lyrics that sync into music and enabled people to express themselves with lyrics and develop a deeper understanding of music. Then there's #Wrapped which celebrates the way people listen, and has become an ongoing annual tradition that keeps getting different and better each year.

How does Spotify keep competition at arm’s length?

It all comes down to our purpose-driven marketing. At Spotify we are fans first, and want to celebrate fandom, bring artists and fans closer and more connected; that mission guides our every move. Our focussed, audio-driven approach is really the difference.

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