Marketing & Branding

5 Brands Pumpin’ Up the Jams with Spotify Playlists

With so many brands vying for attention, it’s become increasingly difficult to reach your customers. If your brand wants to get noticed today, the best way to do so is through useful, engaging content. Something you can use to start doing that right now? Spotify playlists!

Spotify offers a few different advertising options for brands. Brands can display ads, play audio advertisements, or create Branded Playlists. All of the options are appealing for brands, but if you’re looking for engagement, a Branded Playlist is definitely the way to go.

According to, luxury brands are using Spotify as a way to strut their stuff, amplify their brand identities, and engage with customers. Erin Shea writes, “Since music is a more personal and emotional art form, creating playlists could help brands create deeper connections with their fan base.”

There are a lot of tricky rules to follow for an official Branded Playlist, so make sure you check all of the requirements before going forward. For example, a Branded Playlist must contain at least 40 tracks and can only have one track per artist. But when done right, a Branded Playlist can really go a long way. By a long way, I mean that your Branded Playlist will literally be on Spotify forever unless you tell them to remove it!

Don’t have the budget for an official Branded Playlist? You can still get in on the fun by creating a playlist using a personal account, but you won’t have as much opportunity for branded elements and sharing as you would with the Branded Playlist. Without an official Branded Playlist you don’t get branded cover art, custom text, hyperlinks, or the ability to embed your playlist on your website and/or social media. There are special rules for this as well, so make sure you check all your bases.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at some brands that are gettin’ funky with Spotify Playlists!

Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Cruise Lines made waves last year with their “Carnival Cruise Tunes” Spotify playlist campaign. As the playlist description reads, “No time for a Carnival cruise?  No problem, we’ll bring the Caribbean to you.” And that’s exactly what their playlist does. They have captured all of the fun, tropical, summertime vibes of a cruise to immerse their fans and customers in the experience, whether they’re aboard a cruise ship or sitting in their cubicles at work.

Craving some stats to prove Spotify campaigns actually work? According to, Carnival Cruise Lines’ Spotify campaign attracted approximately 450 followers to the branded playlist, the playlist was listened to for nearly 800 hours throughout the course of the campaign, and the average engagement was about 20 minutes per session. Customers spending 20 minutes with your brand? What more could you want?

Disney Pixar

It should come as no surprise that Disney Pixar have landed themselves on this list. I already wrote about the awesome website they created to promote Monsters University. Being Disney Pixar, of course the fun didn’t stop there. After the movie was released Disney Pixar rolled out branded playlists inspired by various characters in the movie from old fan favorites like Mike Wazowski and Sulley, to new characters like Squishy and Art.

Disney Pixar’s branded playlists are a great example of how you can use branded cover art and creative descriptions to promote your brand while creating an immersive experience. Each playlist features a picture of the character and the “Monsters University” logo and the description for each playlist includes a plug for the movie’s release date.

Ms. Squibbles had a small role in the film as Squishy’s mom, but one of the most memorable scenes is when she is waiting for the boys outside in the van “listening to her tunes,” and much to the audience’s surprise the loving mother’s tunes are heavy metal. So her playlist on Spotify is full of metal classics.

We all know and love Mike Wazowski. He is driven, motivated, and a dreamer. Plus, he’s got more school and team spirit than anyone! So fittingly, his playlist is full of inspiring, motivational tunes.

Herbal Essences

How is a hair product company supposed to create an engaging campaign? Herbal Essences is perhaps most well-known for pushing the envelope with their controversial “hairgasm” commercials. So not surprisingly, they’ve also pushed the envelope in digital marketing as well.

They took a moment that most people are guilty of – singing in the shower – and made a fun playlist for it. This was a great way to get customers to not only interact with Herbal Essences, but to also directly relate their brand to a specific experience. Herbal Essences also took their engagement a step further by making their playlist public so that fans, customers, and listeners could add their own favorite songs to sing to in the shower!

NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”

This playlist is less of a branding and marketing push and more of a hidden “Easter egg.” Fans of the show will recall a scene from season 5 where Ben and April are trapped in a parking lot. During this scene Ben busts out his “Benji’s Cool Times Summer Jamz Mix.” During the show the audience only briefly hears the song “Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa. Well, the fine folks behind “Parks and Recreation” took it upon themselves to create a branded playlist so fans can listen to the whole mix, and it is the best.

Victoria’s Secret

Victoria’s Secret is known for many things, but most notable is the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Fans of Victoria’s Secret, fashion, modeling, and runway shows can all unite with Victoria’s Secret’s “Rock The Runway: From the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (2001-2012)” playlist. The playlist oozes the sex appeal and confidence of the runway. With over 7,000 followers on this playlist, and over 15,000 followers in total, it’s safe to say that Victoria’s Secret knows what their fans are looking for.

Now that you’ve seen how other brands have rocked their Spotify campaigns, it’s time to launch your own. Social shares and word of mouth are key here, so just make sure your playlist really rocks (and/or rolls), and watch it spread like wildfire!

The Takeaways

  • Create a playlist that captures your brand’s identity
  • Your playlist should be for moods or activities that your target audience relates to
  • Get the word out! Make sure you share your playlist on social media, in blog posts, etc.
  • Allow fans to further engage with your playlist by commenting on Facebook or adding their own songs to the playlist

By providing your customers with a sweet playlist that they can jam to at work, in the car, or while they sing in the shower, you’ll guarantee your brand a spot in their minds. Make your playlist cool enough, and they’ll share it with their friends. Before you know it your brand will be the talk of the town!

Has your brand used Spotify playlists before? Are you planning on using one for an upcoming campaign? Sound off in the comments below!

Expand Your Brand!