Case study
Playlist Potluck
TO-Sonos-Logo
“Time Out has been a great partner for Sonos. They really took the time to get to know our business and audience, and found meaningful ways to connect Sonos to their brand and audience. With their help, we brought music fans together in Melbourne and Sydney for Playlist Potlucks with some of the most influential chefs in Australia.”
Rennie Addabbo
Sonos Australia Leader
Campaign objectives

#PlaylistPotluck
Introduce the Sonos brand to the Time Out audience, and inspire our readers to participate in their own #PlaylistPotluck dinners.

 Influence the influencers
To familiarise key hospitality influencers with the Sonos brand and Playlist Potluck concept, via curated dinner parties, introducing Sonos to the homes of top Australian chefs.

The idea
Share food. Share music.

In late 2016, Sonos launched the international Playlist Potluck campaign, to inspire people to bring music to a dinner party.

In the traditional sense, ‘potluck’ – the notion of bringing a meal to a dinner party – is a concept that has been around for over 400 years. Back in the day, you’d each bring a unique dish to the party, and then after dinner, guests would gather around to hear a song played on the host’s piano. In partnership with Sonos, we wanted to help bring the Potluck tradition back, for the modern era.

We would stage two Time Out-curated ‘Playlist Potluck’ dinners, each attended by a selection of some of our most influential hospo friends in Sydney and Melbourne. Each dinner would be hosted by a well-known local chef, while each guest would contribute a couple of songs to our Spotify Potluck Playlists, which were played through a Sonos Play:1.

Our guests would then go on to serve as ambassadors for the concept, and inspire others to recreate Playlist Potluck parties.

We would engage the Time Out audience by publishing reports of the dinners through Time Out’s owned channels, including offering our readers the chance to recreate the experience, by having a top Australian chef host a #PlaylistPotluck dinner party in their own home.

Execution
Activations
To enhance the local relevance of Playlist Potluck, we hosted two Playlist Potluck dinner parties. One in Sydney, one in Melbourne. For the sake of brevity, we will use the Sydney party as our example here.

Playlist Potluck Sunday Lunch
The who’s who of Sydney’s culinary in-crowd came to dine with Time Out and Sonos. We talked food, music, art, lockouts, and heaps more.

Our chef and host was Mitch Orr, co-owner and head chef of the excellent ACME of Rushcutters Bay. Our co-host was food writer, chef, podcaster and DJ Andrew Levins. You can tune in to Levins and Mitch every week on the podcast The Mitchen.

Guests included: Dan Hong (Mr Wong), Paul Carmichael (Momofuku Seiobo), Mike Nicolian (Continental Deli), Analiese Gregory (Bar Brosé), Mike Rodrigues (Time Out), Daniel Boud (Boudist), Rennie Abbaddo (Sonos) and Lewis Jaffrey (Big Poppa’s). And here’s the Potluck Playlist.

Media distribution
Our primary objective in the promotion of Playlist Potluck was to introduce the concept to the Time Out audience, via influential Australian chefs.

We created a behavioural template for our readers to follow, by sharing our chefs’ #PlaylistPotluck parties. The promotion was to inspire our readers to create their own Playlist Potluck parties, and encourage them to share their own parties, via the hashtag.

Our media distribution strategy was comprised of three primary drivers:

Native content and Time Out newsletters
In collaboration with our hosts, Time Out created a feature on hosting the perfect Playlist Potluck dinner party in Sydney and Melbourne. Then we offered our readers a chance to win a Playlist Potluck party, hosted by a world-famous Australian chef, in Sydney and Melbourne.
Display advertising
We ran a targeted display campaign across our Sydney and Melbourne sites, plus simultaneous print ads in our bumper summer issues, in both cities. The cross-platform campaign targeted our most engaged and affluent readers.
Social media
We developed a social strategy to maximise the reach of #PlaylistPotluck, capitalising on owned, earned and paid posts through Facebook and Instagram. Here’s a post from Dan ‘@hongsta_gram’ Hong, from the Sydney activation.
Bonus stuff!
Our Playlist Potluck dinners even turned out a couple of surprise results…
A podcast…
The Mitchen is a weekly food podcast recorded at Mitch Orr’s kitchen table in Sydney. Each week our co-hosts Andrew Levins and Mitch Orr invite four mates from the food world over to discuss and make jokes about any recent big announcements in food and dining. In this episode, our Playlist Potluck guests recorded a ten-person discussion of food and music (and how hard it is to celebrate both those things in Sydney sometimes). You can listen to The Mitchen here – see episode 49 (‘Reunited, and it Feels So Good’).
…and a reggae barbecue
When you get the right people around the right table, anything can happen. At a point during our Potluck Playlist Sunday lunch – during Super Cat’s ‘Ghetto Red Hot’, if memory serves – Levins, Momofuku’s Paul Charmichael (pictured), and Sonos’s Rennie Abbaddo came up with a cracking idea – to combine dancehall beats with smoking meats at a barbecue… with Levins on the decks, Charmichael on the grill, and Sonos at the centre of it all.
How we worked
Platforms activated

Live activations
2x VIP Playlist Potluck dinners to influence the influencers in Sydney and Melbourne

Time Out magazines
Print advertising in our Sydney and Melbourne summer bumper issues

Native content
4x native features written by Time Out editors and guest chefs, to encourage reader participation in #PlaylistPotluck

Time Out website
Targeted display advertising across our Sydney and Melbourne sites

Podcast
A themed, dedicated episode of The Mitchen, by Andrew Levins and Mitch Orr

Instagram
Influencer participation via #PlaylistPotluck

Facebook
Sponsored Facebook campaign in Sydney and Melbourne, plus influencer participation

Newsletter
2x Solus newsletters, plus 2x Premium newsletter tiles in our Sydney and Melbourne weekly newsletters

The creative campaign
Time Out says…

We love working with companies that understand why they’re in business. So when we met the team at Sonos, we knew we were going to get along.

Our audiences were already well aligned, and so leveraging two key assets was the key to the success of this campaign. From our side, we were able to bring highly relevant influencers from Sydney and Melbourne’s restaurant scene, while Sonos brought the framework of an incredible international campaign, in the form of Playlist Potluck.

This campaign demonstrated the value of a simpatico relationship with a partner. Our Playlist Potluck dinners were inspirational, with influencers becoming ambassadors for the Sonos brand and Time Out readers following suit.