Marketing Roundup: Spotify Wrapped Season Returns

by Frankie Pike

Spotify Wrapped is back, taking the Internet by storm as usual.

Social media is flooded with pretty graphics showcasing which artists and songs we listened to the most this year.

The event is brilliant: Spotify makes collecting our data feel like a gift to us. Music fans are proud to display being in the top percentage of listeners, or they make self-deprecating jokes about their musical tastes. And all of it is branded beautifully, making Spotify trend on every platform and giving serious FOMO to non-Spotify users.

Spotify released its first year-in-review in 2015, but it didn’t gain popularity until it began putting it on pastel-colored cards, wrote Amanda Hoover for Wired. Design is powerful, especially when it allows users to show off what they identify with.

“This is a particularly shining example of the fact that Spotify’s business model is based on surveillance. Spotify has done an amazing job of marketing surveillance as fun and getting people to not only participate in their own surveillance, but celebrate it and share it and brag about it to the world.”

-Evan Greer, director of the digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future

Spotify Wrapped shows us that perhaps people don’t mind getting surveilled if they know it’s happening and it comes with cute, shareable graphics. In an era where people increasingly identify themselves by the media they consume, brands they wear, and stuff they buy, Spotify caters to our consumerist desires.

Well done, Spotify! And in case you were wondering, here’s our CEO and co-founder Nick Schenck’s Wrapped:

pepsi and lindsay lohan concoct “pilk”

Pepsi went viral this week with a disgusting ad featuring Lindsay Lohan drinking Pepsi mixed with milk, a twist on the Christmas classic of leaving out milk and cookies for Santa.

That Is One Dirty Soda, Santa | Pepsi
How about some #Pilk Santa? 💙 #PilkandCookies #PepsiPartner

“Pilk” is not Pepsi’s original idea—it originated from a Laverne & Shirley episode and then became a meme. Like many Internet phenomenons, it’s famous for being hated.

Lohan’s recent return to acting has been making headlines all season, so combining her with pilk was the perfect recipe for virality. Pepsi combined with milk, on the other hand, is not.

Other news

  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday ad revenue broke records, but advertisers saw slowing growth in average order value. Read the full breakdown here.
U.S. Retail Google Search Ad sales and orders grew again this year, but by a smaller percentage than last year. Credit: Tinuiti

That’s all for this week. Check back next week for more news. And subscribe to our newsletter below for additional updates.