Despite the innumerable challenges for society and culture – and thus also for the marketing industry – there are signs of significant and far-reaching dynamics. At the macro level, the continued work of 600 & Rising and agencies and brands committed to change shows a way in the right direction, even though it’s early days.
Individual voices create a refrain that requires action, representation and justice. Spotify recently released a series entitled “Outside Voice” that broaden the perspective of some of the most interesting and influential names in marketing.
The idea was born from Spotify’s Culture Next report, which shows that 2020 was a cultural wake-up call. In the study, which digs deeper into Millennial and Gen Z listeners, over 80% of respondents felt that the Black Lives Matter movement was the defining theme of the year, according to Tify Comer, Senior Creative at Spotify.
Looking inward, the streaming giant believed that the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) marketing community offered a unique opportunity for greater perspective.
Starting episodes include Juan Reyes, director of branded narration at Nike, and Alyza Enriquez, video producer and writer at Vice Media. Embedded in tailor-made musical decisions are topics that range from personal to professional. Using Spotify’s annotation (via the Anchor app), Enriquez and Reyes paint vivid and compelling stories about their lives and work.
Enriquez discusses being non-binary and queer, how this affects their process and how they see themselves in the marketing world and community. They also discuss their Cuban heritage and their journey with microdosing testosterone, a topic that Enriquez covered at length in May 2019. Her words include music by Bad Bunny, Blood Orange, FKA Twigs and allusions to disco and classic rock with songs by Abba and Fleetwood Mac.
Like Enriquez, Reyes gets personal and shares his journey of discovering hip hop and falling in love with him. His playlist is very cross-genre, particularly Ol ‘Dirty Bastard, the late rapper who was a founding member of the Wu Tang clan. Like Enriquez, Reyes weaves together a seamless and engaging narrative that works in advice and reflection on creative philosophy and why it is important to dream big.
According to Comer, Enriquez and Reyes were chosen as the first two hosts because of their influence on the creative industry. “One of the goals of this program is to inspire younger creatives who are currently feeling like outsiders and are less inspired by the state of 2020,” Comer said.
Although Spotify started out with creative leaders in the US, Spotify plans to introduce people from the UK, Latin America and other regions to get a more global perspective and learn the differences and similarities in experiences.
The dual meaning of the show’s title is intentional and works on different levels.
“There’s an obvious connection that people of color are still underdogs in the industry as a whole,” Comer said. “But there is also the feeling that people are using the outside voice to make themselves heard. Instead of a gentle, inner voice, we tap a courageous, uncompromising tone. “