Cannes Lions

Behind the Record

TBWA\CHIAT\DAY LOS ANGELES / THE RECORDING ACADEMY / 2020

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Today it’s more common to access music from the cloud than physical media. This celestial jukebox has given fans around the world more access to music than previous generations could have dreamed of. At the same time, it’s leaving the majority of people making music happen behind the scenes, behind.

Music metadata contains all of the underlying credit information for a track, an ongoing issue for the music industry in the streaming age. Technical roadblocks to syncing this data across various industry databases results in artists and other key figures in the creation process of music not getting properly compensated.

The Recording Academy supports and serves all professional roles in music, shining a light on the myriad and diverse talents people may not be familiar with. "Behind The Record", is a social initiative that celebrated and gave recognition to all the incredible individuals who make our favorite music possible.

Idea

The goal was to bring the people Behind the Record to the front.

Less recognition for technical experts, studio musicians, and “back of house” creative talent means fewer opportunities, growth (personally, creatively, and professionally), and stability for creators whose livelihoods and artistic expression is already under great threat in a year when live music performance has all but ceased.

To give credit back to music creators, we designed a digital “credit cover” that showcased the names and titles of everyone who worked on an album right up front. To create the Credit Covers, we harnessed data from artists and the music credit website Jaxsta to merge song credits with official album art. An easy-to-use website letting artists make and share their own Credit Covers.

Strategy

The goal was simple - Inspire participation from artists and labels in giving credit to all the people behind their records creating further awareness for the music-loving public at large. With GRAMMY buzz ramping up in the fall, in anticipation of nominations being released and, ultimately, winners announced at the award show, there felt like no better time to elevate all artists and creators in the industry, not just those who make the GRAMMY stage. As such we’re solidifying the tradition of giving credit every October.

Execution

In order to bring the people Behind the Record to the front, we created an algorithm that harnessed all of Jaxsta’s album credit data and official album art to merge it into a templatized digital “credit cover” that put the names/titles of everyone who worked on any album right up front. The algorithm delivered an elegant, visually consistent design, whether there were six collaborators credited or 100.

An easy-to-use website gave artists the power to make and share their own Credit Cover on social, inspiring other artists to take part in the initiative creating over 2,500 covers, including Billie Eilish, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift.

In addition to supporting the initiative on social media, artists created an “extra credit” vinyl sleeve supported with a creative video featuring artists' intimate recording session photos and a compelling GRAMMY acceptance speech that acknowledged professionals who contributed to the music creation process.

Outcome

With more than 3,000+ professional music creators participating, The Recording Academy created over 3.1k credit covers, saw more than 370mm impressions, 35.7k mentions, a 100% overall positive sentiment while paying $0 for paid media.

After our campaign Spotify, Tidal, and Pandora all launched searchable credits into their platform. Both Taylor Swift and FKA Twigs included full credits attached to a recent music video and on social respectively.

By spreading the campaign organically to ensure engagement on social media, The Recording Academy garnered coverage in media publications such as Billboard and The Muse by Clio, becoming the first member of the music industry to say thank you in a grand way. A movement that felt genuine because they were simply the catalyst for artists to share their thanks.

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