Spotify launches first branded Instagram AR effect to promote rap album

To mark Headie One's new release, Instagram users can put the album cover's reflective mask over their own face.

Headie One: new album cover and singer using Spotify filter on Instagram
Headie One: new album cover and singer using Spotify filter on Instagram

Spotify has launched its first-ever branded Instagram camera effect to launch rapper Headie One’s new album.

The augmented-reality effect, created by marketing tech agency Byte, enables Instagram users to place the album cover’s reflective mask over their own face, along with a tattoo on their chest.

The effects mirror the artwork from Music x Road, but Spotify has felt it necessary to include its own logo in the effect too. However, as Campaign found, the logo is lost if you don't wear plain and bright clothing.

The work was made possible by Facebook Spark AR Studio’s Instagram beta opening up to brands this month. It allows businesses to create camera effects within Instagram.

Spotify’s Instagram profile is designed to bring fans closer to artists and it is launching this branded effect to promote an artist from one of its priority genres.

Fraser Stapleton, Spotify’s UK social marketing manager, said: "We're always looking for new ways to bring our artists' visions to life and the new Instagram effect features felt like a great opportunity to achieve this."

The music-streaming platform, which offers a premium ad-free service as well as ad-funded Spotify Free, yesterday launched a branded exericise playlist with Anheuser Busch InBev brand Michelob Ultra.

Spotify is also keen to capitalise on the booming podcast market and is testing a "create a podcast" button that would allow users to record, edit and publish their shows within the app. Making podcasts even easier to create could prove a greater draw for marketers who want to try launching branded podcasts, or podcast ads, at lower cost and risk.

Byte, an independent agency founded in 2014, specialises in chatbots as well as AR lenses and creative content. Its other clients include Nike, Just Eat and Google.

Louis Persent, Byte’s creative director, added: "Having worked on AR experiences with our clients for well over a year now, we’ve been anticipating Instagram opening their effects up to brands. We’re always looking for fresh ways for Spotify to engage with music fans and this was an unmissable opportunity to create a more immersive experience that aligned with a key artist’s vision."

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