Do We Need Grammy Award Categories for Ad Songs?

Association of Music Producers Petitions the Academy for Two New Categories for Songs, Scores

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If there are Grammys for "Best Polka Album," "Best Surround Sound Album" and "Best Rock Gospel Album," surely the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences should recognize songs and scores created specifically for ads too, right? The Association of Music Producers thinks so.

The 10-year-old non-profit is petitioning two new award categories for each, and national board president Lyle Greenfield certainly makes a good point: we've become so comfortable with hearing music in ads that some of these songs have become commercially viable. Take "Better Than I've Ever Been," featuring Kanye West, KRS-One and Nas, which last year became the first song created specifically for an advertisement that had ever been nominated for a Grammy. It didn't win, but the track spawned a digital single that sold well.

But why should branded tunes need their own Grammy category if the best ones are considered equitable to the usual non-branded hits in their genres? We understand that the commercial music studios representing by the AMP want recognition for their work and that a history of corny jingles may be holding some back from legitimacy, but isn't the ultimate goal for the new generation of ad songs to be successfully integrated into culture as well as any other? Giving them their own Grammy category seems like a step backwards.

Creating special categories may make sense during this transitional time (heck, there was a disco award in 1980, but that was a unique genre), however, if ad song composers, performers and production houses want their work in the public eye and not relegated to a catch-all, off-camera press-conference alongside "Best Liner Notes," than they should be happy to be partying with everyone else.

[Via Shoot]