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Craig Jackson

Authoring in the Information Age
Subvertising Campaign
10 February 2015
Spotify
What I’m critiquing: Spotify has the potential to, or perhaps already has, revolutionize the way
users listen to music. The streaming service offers unlimited access to millions of songs. As
convenient as this service may be for users, it does not adequately reward the artists who are
participating. Artists like Katy Perry manage to make a significant amount of money off the
royalties from individual streams, but most artists cannot generate enough listeners to see any
worthwhile reward for making and offering their music. The music industry will not be
rewarding to artists in general if their livelihood depends on streaming services like Spotify.
The goal: The goal of this campaign is to encourage people, specifically Spotify users, to
continue to spend money in support of their favorite artists.
Genre standards: I have used similar fonts and color schemes to those used by Spotify, as well
as similar ad layouts. Additionally, I have subverted the Spotify logo by replacing the sound
waves with a pirate’s skull and crossbones. I did this to draw the connection between Spotify
and music piracy. Spotify claims to be a legal alternative to piracy, thus saving the music
industry from the dangers of piracy, but in reality, artists are not much better off if their fans
listen to Spotify than if their fans pirate their music.
Ads:
Blank Check ad: This ad invites the audience to fill out a blank check with the amount he
or she thinks a rights-holder might earn for 10000 streams on Spotify. By inviting the
audience to participate, the logos of the next page featuring the completed check is
more effective because the audience is actively involved with the ad.
Homeless Ad: This ad specifically appeals to the pathos of the audience, as they are
invited to imagine an artist driven to homelessness due to inability to compete in a
marketplace like Spotify.
Globe ad: This ad uses especially the logos appeal by inviting the audience to imagine
what free music might do to their favorite artists, namely, driving them to stop making
music. This in turn will lead to pathos, evoking negative emotions in the audience
towards Spotify for threatening the careers of their favorite artists.
“Support your artists” ad: This ad is a straightforward appeal to the audience to
continue to pay for music because it is a way to be more supportive of their favorite
artists than if they merely stream music.

Requirements Met:
Overt ads: Blank Check, Homeless
Covert ads: “Support your artists,” Globe
Interactive: Blank Check
Explanatory text: Globe, Blank Check
Mimicry: Globe, “Support your artists”
Contents:
Cover Letter
Blank Check Interactive Ad Page 1
Blank Check Interactive Ad Page 2
Homeless Ad
Original Spotify “No More Limits” Ad
Subverted “Support Your Artists” Ad
Original Spotify Globe Ad
Subverted Globe Ad

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