‘Apple Music has bland advertising and is playing it safe’ says Deezer

As it launches its first ever UK TV campaign, French music streaming brand Deezer says the “bland advertising” at its rival Apple Music plays into its hands and allows its new campaign to be disruptive.


The ad, which premieres tonight during the new series of Channel 4’s Gogglebox, includes a 1970s inspired educational video that playfully talks up words that rhyme with Deezer.

Introducing the anti-hero character the ‘Geezer’, the campaign is full of quirky references to British popular culture as well as the streaming service and its personalisation features.

Deezer’s managing director for the UK and Ireland Christian Harris told Marketing Week: “We wanted to avoid a generic campaign that’s then just recycled across every international market. This is a UK campaign for a UK audience and full of quirky personality; our approach is to have a unique voice in every single one of our markets.

“In many ways the rather bland advertising Apple Music now produces sets us up perfectly for this campaign. I think their black and white approach to advertising has minimal power and impact so it’s a perfect backdrop for our more disruptive campaign.”

The ad is the first creative from the Channel 4 Commercial Growth Fund, a new initiative that gives brands not currently on TV ad funding in exchange for equity stakes or by striking revenue share arrangements. Harris says he is looking to appeal to an audience that engages with Channel 4 shows such as The IT Crowd rather than “the X Factor crowd.”

However this campaign will “not be in isolation” with Deezer aiming to do more regular above the line advertising, according to Harris.

Room to take risks

“Our approach to music streaming is founded on human curation and individuality, which has been widely imitated,” explains Harris, who believes the brand has more ability to take risks than its rivals Spotify and Apple Music.

Launched in 2007, Deezer now has six million paid subscribers and claims it is currently the “second biggest music streaming service in the world”.

Haris added: “The smaller streaming brands will probably go through consolidation but I believe there is space for up to five streaming services.

“Yes, Apple Music is a trillion dollar business, who have more financial muscle to commit to advertising but they are also listed and need to account to shareholders for every single penny. We can afford to take more marketing risks and our approach to advertising can be much more original.”

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Deezer is confident it can take users away from Apple Music and Spotify

Later this year, Deezer is planning to update its services to include podcasts and videos as it steps up its non-music content in a bid to become more of an audio brand, rather than be defined purely by music.

Harris believes the streaming market is full of consumers waiting to be converted.

He concluded: “We do a lot of survey work to look at loyalty levels within the streaming sector and we found that there are no great barriers to consumers changing apps.

“People assume that if someone invests time to make a playlist on Spotify they will then be reluctant to change provider; that just isn’t the case at all.

“We are seeing lots of people change if given a compelling reason. There are no great allegiances and we hope this campaign can help us to grow even further.”

Enter the music marketing category in this year’s Masters of Marketing. Go to the Masters site for details of how to enter.


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