Data doesn’t have the best rep. It’s something we give away every day, integrally a part of our lives, sitting behind our interactions and experiences all the time. And yet with each data leak, every breach and scandal, data has ended up feeling like something to be paranoid about, something we can’t really understand or simply something that we find annoying.

But for the third year running, Spotify’s end of year review – Spotify Wrapped – has set an excellent example of how brands can use personal data to create fantastically fun content that people genuinely want to talk about. For those who don’t know, Spotify Wrapped is an annual enterprise where each subscriber receives a breakdown of their year in listening, from who you listen to most to how mainstream your taste is. It is incredibly simple, but also hilarious, embarrassing and fascinating all at once.

Spotify’s out-of-home advertising for Wrapped (Source: Adweek)

What we love about Spotify Wrapped is that it taps into real human emotion and creates a personal connection with each of its subscribers. You’ll be filled with nostalgia when you’re told what the first song you listened to in 2018, whisked back to that New Year’s Eve party. You’ll be left in shock when you see just how many minutes you’ve racked up listening to (33,000 minutes that you’re absolutely not getting back). You’ll cringe when you see that awful pop hit that made it onto your Top 100 most played tunes (Ariana Grande, thank u, next).

Spotify Wrapped shows how the imaginative handling of data can be wholly entertaining and something worth talking about. We would love to see more brands transforming the reputation of personal data, showing it to be something that can be charming and utterly joyous for us all to enjoy.

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