We Are Walker Wins Best in Show at 2016 AMP Awards
An aspirational TV spot for the University of Phoenix that shows vignettes of hard-working people striving to better themselves, all tied together with an updated version of the classic “The Wizard of Oz” song “If I Only Had a Brain,” took the Best in Show prize at the 2016 AMP Awards for Music and Sound. The entry, which also won in the competition’s category for Outstanding Adaptation/Arrangement, was submitted by We Are Walker, the Portland and New York-based music production company, and was produced for an ad titled “More Than Brains,” created by the ad agency 180 LA.
Presentation of the AMP Awards, sponsored by the Association of Music Producers, took place at City Winery in New York City on Wednesday evening, May 11. To view and listen to all 2016 winners,go here.
Other top winners included Yessian Music, which won in the Best Original Score category for “The Wish Writer,” a sweeping, cinematic track for a three-minute long holiday film for Macy’s that shows two kids’ Christmas wishes coming true. Winning Best Original Song was Hate To Love Your Music, LLC, which created an upbeat, pop-infused original tune for a comic web video for Pou-Pourri, the ‘before-you-go’ toilet spray.
This year’s roster of AMP winners represented a widely diverse group of companies, including music production houses, audio post studios, ad agencies and music publishers. No single company won more than once, which is a first for the AMP Awards, now in its 4th year.
The full list of winners includes:
Best Original Song: Hate To Love Your Music, LLC for “Imagine Where You Can Go” for Poo-Pourri; Suzy Batiz, Nicole Story, Jeff Lewis and Chris Sernel (aka Oh, Hush!), composers.
Best Original Score: Yessian for “The Wish Writer” for Macy’s and JWT, New York; Dan Zank, Composer/Arranger.
Outstanding Adaptation/Arrangement: Walker for “More Than Brains” for University of Phoenix and 180 LA; Ellie Mendola, arranger (from the original song “If I Only Had a Brain” by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg).
Best Use of Licensed/Pre-Existing Song (tie): Zync Music for “A Great Big Universe” for Apple, for use of the song “Sound & Color” by Alabama Shakes.
Best Use of Licensed/Pre-Existing Song (tie): Rough Trade Publishing for “Rule Yourself” for Under Armour, for an excerpt from Philip Glass’s “Einstein on the Beach.”
Best Sound Design: Antfood Music & Sound Design for “Hypervenom” for Nike and Wieden + Kennedy, London; Emma Wright, producer.
Most Effective Use of Music in a Campaign: JSM Music, Inc., for Raymond Suitings and agency Famous Innovations; Joel Simon and Augustus Skinner, composer/arrangers.
Best Use of Music for a Film, TV, or Game Promo/Trailer: ABKCO Music & Records for 20th Century Fox, “Joy - Teaser Trailer.”
Best Use of Music In Emerging Media: MAS – Music and Strategy for “FanTracks” for Bose and 360i; Eric Fawcett, composer.
Outstanding Mix: Headroom for “Rule Yourself | Memphis Depay” for Under Armour and Droga5; Chris Afzal, mixer and sound designer.
Best Execution of a Sonic Logo/ID: COPILOT Strategic Music + Sound for “Faces” for Jell-O and Leo Burnett, Chicago; Ravi Krishnaswami and Jason Menkes, composers and arrangers.
Most Impactful Radio Commercial: The Richards Group, “Designer Dogs” for Motel 6.
Winners of the AMP Awards were voted on by the 2016 AMP Awards Advisory Board, a collection of industry experts from the ad agency, music publishing, music production and record label fields, which was led by Lee Garfinkel, former CEO of FCB Garfinkel and an award-winning agency creative director. The Advisory Board selected the winners in each category and selected the show’s Best in Show honoree, based on a shortlist of finalists chosen by the members of AMP.
Commenting on the Best in Show winner, Garfinkel said, “This is a spot that’s done a great job of making the University of Phoenix stand out. In this instance they took a well-known piece of music, updated the lyrics and connected it to a brand in a category that’s not typically top of mind. It really grabs your attention, which is exactly why you’d choose a song like this.”
AMP also honored yet another marketer for outstanding achievement in the use of music to define the brand by inducting Volkswagen of America into its Hall of Fame. Accepting on behalf of the marketer was Patrick Coyle, General Manager, Sales Operations at Volkswagen of America, who was presented the award by Jeff Howard, President, National Sales for iHeartMedia. A showreel of iconic VW ads was screened at the event, which highlighted some of the brands’ most memorable uses of music in its advertising.
This year’s AMP Awards winners shared the stage with representatives of the MusiciansFoundation, a charitable organization that aids musicians and their families, which was been named AMP’s charitable partner. Accepting this honor on behalf of the Musicians Foundation was the noted composer and musician Bobby Lopez, who’s written songs for such hits as “Frozen,” “Avenue Q” and “Book of Mormon.” Lopez made a statement delivered on video in which he thanked AMP for its support and stressed the role of the Musicians Foundation in helping musicians in need across the country.
The AMP Awards show is never complete without live music, and this year’s show was no different. It included a performance from Ra Ra Riot, an American indie rock band known for its energetic live shows. The band’s most recent album, “Need Your Light,” was released earlier this year on the Barsuk Records label and was acclaimed by such media outlets as Pitchfork.com and Entertainment Weekly. Attendees also rocked to a set from DJ Whutever, a Bronx, New York native who’s one of iHeartMedia’s rising stars. Whutever’s been the official DJ for iHeartMedia’s Z100 Jingle Ball and Consumer Electronics Show (CES) events, as well as MTV’s Spring Break in Las Vegas.
Sponsors supporting the 2016 AMP Awards include iHeartMedia, FCB, JWT, Grey New York, Atlas Music Publishing, AMP Music, Mixtape Club, SHOOT and Source Creative.