Perhaps it was the art installation greeting attendees of the fifth annual AMP Awards that featured a drag queen inside a glass booth with words “looking for a drummer with a big stick” written on the glass; or the decidedly “old-school class” of the organization’s new big night environs, the Diamond Horseshoe club downstairs in the Paramount Hotel on West 46th St, but something felt different. Indeed the event was bigger, grander and seemingly more fitting for an organization that has now assumed its rightful place among prestigious award ceremonies for the advertising/branding community.
“As soon as you walk in we wanted people to see that this was different from past AMP Awards,” Jason Menkes, outgoing AMP President and Partner/Executive Producer of COPILOT Music, said. “Fortunately we were able to find this venue, which was this amazing history that includes a private Frank Sinatra concert in the 1950s as well as the site of Andy Warhol’s wake.”
Menkes added, “The growth of AMP is something I’m very proud of. When I began my tenure as AMP president I met with as many members as I could and listened to their suggestions and their sincere, legitimate complaints about past shows and took them all to heart. There’s a whole section of work happening in our industry that many felt wasn’t being honored because it didn’t fit into the traditional TV mold.”
That’s changed now. As Menkes noted during his opening remarks, 2017 has been a year for AMP to celebrate with a growing membership base and expanded categories representing music for live/experiential events, virtual reality and band-brand partnerships, and the establishment of a curatorial committee made up of top agency creatives and music producers to review its judging results and select the Best in Show winner from the category winners across the breadth of the competition. The curatorial committee was led by AMP Awards Chair Susan Credle, Global Chief Creative Officer of FCB.
Human, the New York and L.A.-based music and sound studio, took home the Best in Show for their Adidas ad titled “Original is Never Finished,” created by the agency Johannes Leonardo, featuring a gritty adaptation of the song made famous by Frank Sinatra, “My Way.” Human also won for its work in the category of Best Execution of a Sonic Logo/ID for National Geographic.
The Brooklyn-based music and sound design studio Antfood won 2 awards for a Best Use of Music and Sound in Experiential/Events and Most Innovative Process & Execution for the project “Hieratic Gaze,” an experiential installation for the technology company HP.
Visit here to view the complete winners list.
The show began with The Hall of Fame induction for Mars, Inc., presented by Matt Miller, CEO of AICP. Accepting for Mars was John Starkey, Vice President of Gum and Mints at Mars Wrigley, who preceded his remarks about the power of music and its ability to engage with consumers with an historical reel of Mars work featuring music, both original and licensed, for such brands as M&Ms, SNICKERS, TWIX, MILKY WAY and many others.
Starkey also noted proudly two of the company’s music branding initiatives – M&M’s 75th Anniversary spot, which featured imaginative covers of the Sammy Davis Jr. classic “Candyman”; and a cover of the Elvis Presley classic “Can’t Help Falling In Love” for Extra gum – both of which were hits on the pop music charts and drove millions of social media views and engagement.
“We would not be here were it not for our partnerships with musicians and artists,” Starkey said.
— Ray Ecke