There’s a lesson I learned in eighth grade, back when I thought buying aggressively colorful, collared shirts from Aéropostale was going to make me cool. That lesson? There are very few things less cool than trying to being cool.
That’s what comes to mind when I look at Spotify’s latest campaign for its annual year-end product, Wrapped. The music service had its big day on Wednesday, Dec. 1, when it dropped its 2021 Spotify Wrapped, a personalized in-app experience that tells people their top songs and artists for the year.
And, listen, like everyone else I took my precious little screenshots and obligatorily tweeted them out like a good internet soldier, addicted to signaling my taste.
But there was something oddly off-putting about Wrapped this year. Spotify’s copywriting tried so hard to be trendy and cool that it ended up being incredibly corny. This joke from reporter Astead Wesley hardly feels like a joke at all.
The main product of Wrapped is a playlist of your most-played 100 songs of the year. But to see the data, Spotify makes you tap through an Instagram Story-esque presentation of loud graphics, personality-driven observations, and this year, interactive games. And while that’s all clever in theory, the execution of its copywriting sounds like a parent’s attempt at rattling off phrases they didn’t quite understand in 2021. Or the personification of the “how do you do, fellow kids” meme.
You’ve got all the hits: main character, NFTs, and understood the assignment. Basically, it’s like a parent overheard their child watching TikToks then made a PowerPoint presentation out of it. Here’s a sampling from my Wrapped:
Here are a few more screenshots. I know skincare routines are like a thing now, but Spotify my skincare routine infamously includes dish soap. You don’t know me like that! Why are we wasting time here? Just give me my songs.
In their larger global marketing campaign, Spotify even dropped references to Bones or No Bones days. Because, of course, how could Spotify miss hopping on even a single trend?
The weird thing is that Wrapped is already cool and popular. It’s the single-most talked about thing on the internet for a whole 24 hours. Like I said, it’s almost obligatory to tweet your results every year and rub it in the faces of Apple Music subscribers. There’s no need for Spotify to force-feed us trendy internet phrases from 2021 when they already have an influential product.
As you can see, people online are pretty tired of it.
Spotify: Please learn the lesson taught to me the hard way in eighth grade. Let’s stop trying to be cool and just… release the playlists in 2022. Wrapped is a product people like, and we really don’t want to have to fight through 10 TikTok references to get to the good soup stuff.