Musical Ads With A New Spin


With the growth of online music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, there’s a huge advertising opportunity for brands to get in front of a captivated audience with a targeted approach, as well as using these services inside other platforms where people are spending a majority of their time.

The inclusion of music in ads is nothing new, but the integration of musical experiences into ads is something that hasn’t quite been done before. New York-based startup F# is working with music streaming services to create cool new ads for leading brands on social-centric platforms like Spotify and Facebook. F# has designed creative, unique ads for companies like Frito-Lay, Microsoft, MillerCoors, Unilever, Universal Pictures and countless more.

Here’s the twist: According to the company, banner ads aren’t the way to go these days. Instead, they design purposeful ads that reward the consumer with playlists, analysis of his favorite songs and what a playlist reveals about him. So if I am a user who encounters one of these music ads as a Facebook app, once I drag my Spotify playlist onto the ad, it creates a more interactive ad experience just for me.

According to Dan Merritts, CEO of “We’ve been working with Spotify, so we leverage their impressive music library into our ads.  Whether it is an ad that lives inside Spotify, where you can drag and drop a playlist to be analyzed to see which movie character you would be, or outside Spotify where you can add a song on a particular theme – such as Guilty Pleasures.”

The company recently worked with UFC, the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Prior to the season finale of the mixed martial arts competition The Ultimate Fighter, each contestant chose two potential “walkout” songs. In the UFC Facebook app, Spotify listeners and visitors to the UFC Facebook page were asked to vote on which of the two songs the wrestler should come out to. According to F#, at the time, it was the most successful branded Spotify campaign to date having four times as many votes as any previous Spotify campaign.

By integrating music into ad experiences it creates a deeper connection – whether it’s listening to an actual song or leveraging music in the experience, by giving playlists to the consumer or allowing them to vote on their favorite holiday song. Merritts added, “People are already passionate about music, so it’s about incorporating that into their ad experiences to form a deeper connection with the brand. This ultimately creates a lasting association that often improves awareness and drives purchase intent.”


  1. Brands have a lot of ground to make up from the old days of radio. Streaming music requires a connection on a device that is capable of other action. Ads must be interactive, and very importantly, must not interrupt the experience too much, for fear of a backlash. It’s a delicate line to tread, but one with great rewards for those who walk it correctly. Good post.


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