Stop The Presses!

The Grammys’ Winning New Ad Campaign

Stop The Presses!

When you think of the Grammy Awards, "snorefest"is a nice phrase which comes to mind. Consistently, The National Academy OfRecording Arts & Sciences puts on a lackluster show--year after year afteryear. Last year they achieved a ratings low. It'sMTV's Music Awards that garner themost eyeballs and hype.

But this week the Academy threw down, launching the biggestadvertising campaign in the organization'shistory for the 51st Grammy Awards on February 8. According to Evan Greene,the Academy's CMO, the campaign cost"in the mutli-millions" and is the most the organization has spent onan ad campaign in its history.

Developed by ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, the campaign includestelevision, radio, out of home, print, and online. In the TV ads, portraits ofsingers such as Thom Yorke, Rihanna, and Stevie Wonder are drawn onscreen usingtitles of songs that were critical to their development. The artists are heardtalking about importance of music.

Here's where itgets dicey. The Boo Radley-esque/shy/hermit Radiohead frontman Thom Yorkedecided to put his mug on an ad. Did I see that correctly? And something aslame and commercialized as the Grammys, to boot?

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There's more toit than meets the eye. The ad consists of names of songs which shaped hiscareer and influenced him. These include: Bjork's"Unravel" (web-covered by Radiohead), David Bowie ("Ashes ToAshes"), and Liars ("The Wrong Coat For You Mt. Heart Attack").Grammy uses Thom and Thom pimps out the Liars'song titles. Even though Radiohead predate the Liars by like a decade. Oh, andit helps that In Rainbows is up forAlbum Of The Year.

Print and online ads will sport different artists such asLil' Wayne, Lenny Kravitz, Coldplay,and Kanye West. 

TV ads narrated by these highly influenced artists willstart running soon, too. A commercial with Wonder's"Superstitious"--and lyrical references to R&B and soul artistsas Ray Charles and Stephanie Mills--debuted over the weekend on CBS. Ad spotswith Rihanna and Yorke are slated to roll out in the days leading up thetelecast.


The Lil' Wayne ad comes with adisclaimer: "Artist not guaranteed to perform." It would be weird foran artist nominated for Album Of The Year--Lil'Wayne'sTha Carter III (also up for Record OfThe Year) not to perform at the ceremony, which will be held at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

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