Clio Music Echoes the Industry's Ever-Changing Tune

Observations and insights from our recent awards gala

Two weeks ago, we stepped on stage in Los Angeles and presented the top winners in the 2024 Clio Music Awards. Many of you joined us to celebrate—thank you! As we applaud the Grand, Gold, Silver, Bronze and shortlisted work, I wanted to share a few observations—reminders really—about the state of creativity in music marketing and the use of music in ads. 

Big bold ideas are everywhere (even if you haven’t seen them yet).

Many who attended the awards show mentioned they were seeing many of the winners for the first time. The diversity of winning work from across the globe—including entrants from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States—emphasizes that creativity is everywhere and across label, publisher, agency and brand teams worldwide. The creativity in Columbia's Harry Styles campaign launched layers of touch points to remind all of us fans you are home wherever you live.

We're in a renaissance of artist films and music videos.

Over the last few years, we've seen incredible work recognized from artists including Childish Gambino, FKA Twigs, Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Tierra Whack, Jorja Smith, Travis Scott, The Weeknd, and so many others. This form of artistic expression is stronger than ever (see the animation in Pharrell, 21 Savage and Tyler, the Creator—Cash in Cash out music video or the craft in Pepsi's The Show: California Love documentary). While there's no longer a single channel or two for viewing music videos, you can easily check out top winners from SZA, Little Simz, Christina Agilera, Arizona and others via Film & Video/Music Video or Film & Video Craft searches in the gallery. 

Legacy artists are to be celebrated.

It always gives me a kick when legendary artists are recognized: Ozzy, Elvis, Nina Simone, the Rolling Stones this year. Kudos to the teams delivering top work to remind us how much we love these icons and their music. 

The power of the perfect song.

A perfect marriage of a brand's message and a song in an ad is memorable and impactful. As our Music Supervision jury chair Peymon Maskan reminded us recently, there's nothing more authentic than the reaction to a song and "its greatest power is to help align the brand and creators around tone." Whether they are original, adapted, or licensed tracks, the right songs deliver all the feels: Greenpeace "Don't Stop", the Problemista trailer, Don Julio's "Por Amor: A Love Letter to Mexico",Chevy's "The Holidays with Mrs. Hayes", Nike Jordan "Beyond" and many others you can find in the gallery.

Collaborations are a king and queen in content.

The Partnerships & Collaborations and Branded Entertainment & Content mediums are two of our most robust for entries. Top winners are phenomenal examples of collaborations that provide exponential impact: Rosalia and FC Barcelona, Doja Cat and Taco Bell, AAA Insurance and Rick Astley, Hans Zimmer and IWC Schaffhausen, Google and Gorillaz, Brian McKnight and Coca-Cola and Chili's. Sometimes too these interactions result in an idea that can change the world for the better on issues like mental health (BENEE and ASB).

Long live fantastic design in gig posters, packaging, and data visualization.

I wish each of you could stop by our office to see and touch the physical entries from much of this year's winning design work: Jack White's Magic Trick Concert Poster or Time Capsule series, Death Cab for Cutie's Toronto Gig Poster, the exemplary work on behalf of Pearl Jam, Phish, boygenius, Run the Jewels, or Berliner Philharmonie. The excellence of Spotify's Wrapped campaign and Anheuser-Busch InBev's vinyl coasters and BudMag work, and the beauty of Fall Out Boy's Crynl, "This Is Hip Hop At Fifty", the WattStax box set, and Gold Rush Vinyl's Recycled Bouquet.

Certainly there are budget considerations associated with many of these winners, but inherently they all resonate creatively by taking bold and innovative swings to connect artists and fans or brands. Big ideas conceived and executed. 

As we plan for the launch of our next Clio Music call for entries, I'd suggest you consider your team's biggest swings—what are the creative successes you can't stop talking about? What did your team do that makes you the most proud? Enter it. 

Check out all of this year's winning work and certainly you'll discover fresh inspiration. Because when it feels like we're drinking out of a content firehose every day, the Clio Music winners gallery is a refreshing curated stream of the best-of-the-best in creativity. Drink up.

Profile picture for user Michael Kauffman
Michael Kauffman
Michael Kauffman is the executive director of Clio Music & Clio Cannabis. His all-time favorite jukeboxes were at Dirty Frank's in Philadelphia, or the Lakeside Lounge or Jimmy's Corner in NYC.

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