HONG KONG: Brands such as Citroën and Volkswagen are finding innovative ways to utilise music in their campaigns in a bid to encourage consumer engagement.

"There are so many examples of how brands can express themselves through music," Jonathan Forster, global sales director of Spotify, the music streaming site, told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

In addition to traditional display ads, audio ads and homepage takeovers, Forster pointed to collaborations between brands, users and music and the development of apps that utilise the platform.

"The best results … are from tracks and playlists that are user-generated," said Forster.

One example was automaker Citroën, which wanted to get across the idea that some classic designs never get old and asked some UK music acts to recommend songs that would fit with this message.

The subsequent list was hosted on a Spotify microsite where users could vote for their favourite, with the top ten being released with an accompanying commentary by the artist.

A second example came from another automaker, Volkswagen, which asked users which music they would happily listen to alone while driving but would not admit to liking in public.

The campaign grew to the point where VW and MTV created a show featuring the top ten driving song confessions.

Forster also highlighted Spotify's use of 'hack days' in which brand and agency teams are invited to spend time creating apps.

"Brands need to provide stuff, content that people value and like and we have it," he argued.

"The trick is for brands to do something around music which is of real value to customers," he added.

He cited a recently created app that measures a user's heartrate and then uses Spotify to offer music that can raise or lower heartrate.

"It hasn't been launched yet, but you can immediately think of a few brands this would be relevant to," said Forster.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff