ASK
Develop a creative campaign for Pandora Radio.

 
 

 
 

THE QUICK PITCH

 
 

 
 

CHALLENGE
Pandora was the first service to offer curated music stations and has always stayed true to its simple model, but new competitors like Spotify have stolen Pandora's users by offering cool new features that let listeners "do it all."

KEY LEARNING
Everyone loves personalized listening, but access to too many features makes streaming complicated and overwhelming. 

INSIGHT
The best feature of all is simplicity.

OPPORTUNITY
Pandora takes the work out of curating.  Listeners have always loved how easy Pandora is to use and how accurate its music recommendations get, without the hassle of curating playlists themselves.

TARGET
Music Nomads who like to browse music genres and playlists, not exclusive to one kind of sound. Because they like a lot of different styles, they struggle to find their music identity and articulate what they want to hear.

STRATEGY
Pandora caters music to you.  Pandora understands its listeners, even if they don't.  It does the work for them, giving them only what they want to hear.

 
 

 
 

THE DEEP DIVE

 
 

 
 

Pandora was the first streaming service to offer curated music stations.  Pandora streamlines the search process by letting users type in keywords to understand what music they want to hear, like "disco" or “top 40.”

CHALLENGE
Pandora has stayed true to its simple model, but over the years tons of competitors have stepped onto the scene offering cool new features.

Services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal can “do it all” and have been slowly stealing Pandora’s users:

 
 

 
 

"Pandora’s active listener base fell below 78M in 2016.  In the same period, Spotify’s base grew by 20M people – with 100M+ listeners total.”

- Music Business Worldwide

 
 

 
 


LEARNINGS
Accessibility to tons of music lets listeners personalize their playlists, but too many features can be overwhelming and cause aux cord paralysis.
In competition for our ears, music services have complicated streaming:

 
 

 
 

"I LOVE SPOTIFY, but it's so complex. Sometimes I just don't want to sift through so much stuff."

- Lauren, MUSIC STREAMER

"HAVING 30 million songs in YOUR search box can be appealing to a small segment of the population, but for most people that’s just overwhelming; it’s hard work.

- Tim Westergren, Pandora CEO

 
 

 
 
 

INSIGHT

the best feature of all is simplicity.

Pandora is already recognized for its simplicity:

  • "Pandora has made premium as novice-friendly as possible."  - The Verge
  • "It’s the ultimate app for disengaging from an app. You pick a station, you hit play and you go. That’s it."  - Recode
     

OPPORTUNITY

Pandora can show its users it takes the work out of curating.

  • Users have always loved how accurate their recommendations get, without the hassle of curating playlists themselves.
  • In a music world of messy features, Pandora makes streaming approachable, simple, and accurate.
  • "Simple curation" is something a lot services claim, but many have taken notes from Pandora’s model (think Spotify’s Discover Weekly) and struggle to streamline the process.
 
 
 

TARGET
Music Nomads.  They like to roam different genres and playlists, not exclusive to one type of sound.

  • They're familiar with Pandora, but are chasing the music trends and trying different apps.
  • They try to keep up with other people's music expertise, but in actuality they’re laid back listeners who like a lot of different kinds of music.
  • They don't want to spend time curating playlists, but also don't want to sacrifice a personalized listening experience.
  • Because of this, they struggle to find their music identity and articulate what they want to hear.

Click to learn more about how we reach them.

 
 
 

 
 

STRATEGY

pandora caters music to you.

Pandora understands its listeners music preferences, even if its users don't.  It does the curating work for them, giving them exactly what they want to hear without requiring them to be hands-on.

 
 

 
 

 

Creative Concept

Music Monsters

Pandora personifies your mashed up music tastes into unique monsters.  They act as your personal DJ and, since they represent the stations you already love, they know exactly what you want to hear.  Let your music out of its box, and let your monster take the AUX cord.

 

 

MONSTER LAUNCH

To tease the campaign, Pandora boxes will appear in the wild.  The boxes will release the monsters on the day the generator is launched, directing people to the Pandora app to check it out.

 

Click to enlarge

Ads will appear on social media and streaming services

 
 
 
 

Monster Generator

Listeners are then able to create their own monster through the generator.  Pandora easily creates a monster that represents them based on their listening history.  Monsters function as their personal music stylists, creating a new station that's constantly adapting to their ever-changing tastes.

After making your monster you can easily share with your friends on social channels

 

MONSTER CAMPAIGN

After the launch we'll start a new wave of advertising.  Pandora will put people's monsters out in the world with print, digital, social, and out of home ads.

Public transit ads, like this subway print, target in-transit listeners

Digital walls at train stations and airports let listeners interact with their monsters

 

MONSTER Sharing

Once their monster is up and running, users can check out a new “Party” setting that lets monsters near each other mingle and create collaborative playlists.

Monster Party tents lets listeners hook up their monsters to a stage to create their perfect festival experience, similar to a silent disco.

 

MONSTER MERCH

Listeners can make their monsters come to life with a custom speaker.

 

Monster merch speakers puts your monster in the wild, while keeping you connected with Bluetooth.

 
 

METHODOLOGIES

Listen + Learn
Watched people use Pandora and different streaming services to compare behavior

1-1 Interviews
Talked to Pandora users about why they keep the app in their music rotation

Surveys + Social Listening
Qualtrics, Facebook status polls, Simmons, Facebook Audience Insights

Research Reports
The Verge, Recode, Forbes, Mintel

 
 


WHAT I LOVED MOST ABOUT THIS CASE STUDY WAS

...being able to make my own monster.  I'm the moody mainstream dancer!
 


 
 

Strategy  Katherine Gannon  |  Copywriting  Kelly Cabaniss  |  Art Direction  Chris Lumain  |  Experience Design  Xia Du