Course Hero Inspires Listeners Looking to Learn

Ad Recall

40% lift in recall of Course Hero ads.

Brand Awareness

36% lift in awareness of Course Hero.

Consideration

50% lift in intent to use Course Hero for future study needs.

Course Hero inspired their audience on Spotify in Focus and Study moments — urging them to chart a dream education path and leverage their tools to “get there.”

Brief:
Course Hero aimed to drive awareness of their website among their target audience of college students.

Solution:
When today’s students are in focus and study mode, they turn to Spotify for background beats. For Course Hero, these moments were the perfect opportunity to reach their audience with an inspiring message.

Course Hero, the online learning platform, was looking to drive awareness for their website of over 25 million course-specific study materials. They knew a multi-format campaign on Spotify would grab attention and motivate users to consider using their platform.

Even better, they knew they could reach their core audience in the perfect moment: when they were already looking to learn. The brand used real-time playlist targeting to reach users during these contextually relevant Focus and Study moments. They also used data from leading third-party providers to reach a specific audience segment of likely college students.

As listeners pressed play on these playlists (like Intense Studying, Chill Hits and Brain Food) the brand inspired listeners in real time with video, audio and display ads. The campaign showed users that Course Hero has the tools to help them reach a college degree — with overlay banners explaining how the resources on Course Hero help students go from "huh" to "aha!" while studying. Their video ad showed the road to getting there, mapping the path from studying at night after a day of school — plus work, taking care of kids, or volleyball practice — to graduation.

And their audio ads were the most captivating of all — each one starting with a simple question that became more and more overwhelming (just like a hectic semester): "Here's a chemistry question for you. How did you balance the equation CO2, plus H20, plus 20 more equations, plus a history paper due in the morning? Answer: Course Hero."

By leading with questions, the campaign’s audio ads had the highest ad recall of all their formats used. And the campaign’s multi-format approach helped Course Hero drive stronger performance — as users exposed to multiple formats resulted in higher lifts compared to those exposed to just one.

Plus, the brand was able to take post-campaign insights to inform their future planning. They noticed particularly strong performance in the Kids playlist category — a sign that their ads seemed to resonate with young parents looking to balance studying with raising a family. Ultimately, these playlist-driven insights speak to the streaming intelligence that only Spotify can provide.

Impact:

  • By using engaging creative tactics — like leading audio ads with a question — Course Hero drove a 40% lift in ad recall.
  • Course Hero reached a highly targeted audience of college students specifically in the Focus and Study moments, helping them drive a 50% increase in consideration.
  • By featuring their brand in an emotional, inspirational context, Course Hero drove a 36% lift in brand awareness among their core audience.

Formats: Audio Everywhere, Sponsored Sessions, Video Takeover Everywhere, Mobile Overlay, Desktop Overlay
Market: US
Flight: August — October 2018
Source: Nielsen Brand Effect, Aug-Oct 2018 // Sample size: 895 control and 626 exposed Spotify users