Thomson Promo, Case study HURTS DON'T LET GO by Sony Music Entertainment UK Creative

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Industry TV Channels/Radio Stations and Programmes
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Sony Music Entertainment UK Creative
Creative Director Steve Milbourne, Phil Clandillon
Released August 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Other Digital Media
Advertiser: RCA
Product/Service: HURTS HAPPINESS
Date of First Appearance: Aug 30 2010
Entry URL:
Creative Director: Phil Clandillon (FOAM / Sony Music Creative)
Creative Director: Steve Milbourne (FOAM / Sony Music Creative)
Audio Producer: Dee Adam (FOAM / Sony Music Creative)
Audio Producer: James Earp (FOAM / Sony Music Creative)
Writer: Joe Stretch
Media placement: Interactive audio novel - Spotify - 30 August 2010
Media placement: Home page takeover - Spotify - 30 August 2010
Media placement: Various display ads - Spotify - 30 August 2010
Media placement: 30 second audio ad - Spotify - 30 August 2010
Insights, Strategy & the Idea
While conducting research for Hurts we refreshed the data on our “Tipping Pointers” (21-24, 62% female) segment, and discovered they are abandoning radio in favour of Spotify. Our challenge was to reach Tipping Pointers on Spotify and make them aware of Hurts and their forthcoming debut album.
Tipping Pointers are savvy individuals in their early twenties who like to be at the cutting edge of culture. Music is a key part of their social lives. Hurts were a new act at the time, so making Tipping Pointers aware of the album was crucial.
Rather than simply buying display / audio advertising on Spotify, we realised we could use our unique position as a record label to publish content directly to Spotify itself.
The client wanted to reach the Tipping Pointers, the insight told us they were using Spotify and we managed to reach the audience with a unique creative solution.
Creative Execution
We looked at Spotify in it’s simplest terms, as a platform for searching and listening to audio clips, and came up with an idea to create an interactive audio novel using Spotify’s search function to navigate.
The story was written by Manchester author Joe Stretch, and narrated by actress Anna Friel. The novel is written in the second person, and published as 87 individual products on Spotify.
After listening to each chapter, Anna offers the player a choice of what to do next, along with a unique code for each action. Typing this code into the Spotify search brings up the next chapter. Throughout the experience players hear extracts from "Happiness".
Spotify liked the idea so much they gave us £70k of free media to compliment the campaign. Audio ads (just Anna reading Chapter 1) and a home page takeover combined with earned media to drive users to the experience.
Results and Effectiveness
We created a news story around Hurts by doing something innovative and unexpected with the Spotify platform.
In the week prior to the release of Happiness, 236,288 listeners played the novel (the predominant age group being 18-24).
12,181 listeners reached an ending, an engagement time of over 12 minutes.
The average CTR from chapter one running as an audio ad was extremely high at 1.1%. This alone contributed 49,000 listeners.
18,244 people clicked through to Amazon to buy the album. This accounted for half of UK sales in month 1. Hurts have gone on to sell over 500,000 albums worldwide.