Julia Neumann, Chief Creative Officer of the independent New York agency Johannes Leonardo, has been named as Chair of the 2022 AMP Awards for Music & Sound. Her appointment was announced by Georg Bissen of MetaTechnik, President of the AMP National Board and a member of its 2022 AMP Awards Committee. The deadline for entering is March 4. Full information and entry rules can be found on the entry portal at https://amp.awardcore.com.
With over a decade of experience as an award-winning creative leader, Neumann has received top honors for steering some of the industry’s most notable work, including “Billie Jean King Your Shoes” for adidas, JetBlue’s “FlyBabies” and MTN Dew’s “Major Melon.” The latter marked the first ad that truly gamified the Super Bowl viewing experience for Super Bowl LV. Other accolades for Neumann include being named to Business Insider’s annual list of “Most Creative Women in Advertising” in 2013, 2014 and 2016, and was named to Ad Age’s “Creatives You Should Know” list in 2016.
“Julia was at the top of our list when we started looking for a creative leader to guide our judging process for the 2022 AMP Awards,” says Bissen. “She understands the role music and sound plays in creating emotionally resonant work that connects with audiences, and values the contributions that independent companies make to the final product.”
“Partnering with music and sound companies is one of my favorite parts of the advertising creative process,” Neumann says. “Your music and sound choices can make or break a film, and it can be very tricky, as it’s so subjective. We’re all listeners, and we all feel like we’re experts. So getting this just right is critical in ensuring that every piece of creative that leaves our agency is in its best form.”
On being asked to lead the AMP Awards Curatorial Committee, which will confirm all category winners and select its Best in Show honoree, Neumann says she’s all in. “I love how this competition focuses exclusively on outstanding work in music and sound,” she notes. “Music in particular is often highly personal, and highly political, and that interests me very much. I’m eager to see what comes out on top.”
Prior to joining Johannes Leonardo in 2021, Neumann served as Executive Creative Director at TBWA/Chiat Day where she spent three years leading creative output for brands such as MTN Dew and adidas. Before joining TBWA in 2018, she started her career as a copywriter at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, Since then she has served in creative roles at Y&R New York, Wieden+Kennedy in Portland and in the New York offices of BBH and MullenLowe.
Outside of agency life, Neumann has embraced socially-conscious storytelling with her short documentary, “Deporting Myself.” The film centers on a woman who’s an undocumented immigrant and living in the US for almost 20 years. Neumann follows her final days in New York before she voluntarily returns back to her home in Hungary to escape the constant fear of deportation. Featuring an original score by Found Objects Productions’ Tavis Gureckis, the film premiered at the Berkshire International Film Festival and was part of the official selection at the Marfa Film Festival in 2021. It won Best Short Documentary at the Coney Island Film Festival and was most recently featured at the NBC News “Meet the Press” Film Festival.
With the AMP Awards scheduled to take place in May at Sony Hall in New York, Neumann has revealed herself to be quite familiar with the venue: It was where she went to one of her first post-pandemic performances, to see the rapper Jay Electronica. Before that, she ventured out to catch an LCD Soundsystem concert, too. How did it feel? “There was such energy and love around these shows,” she offers. “I felt like I got an audible hug, one that I very much needed!”
The AMP Awards is the only juried, non-profit advertising contest to focus on the unique contributions made to the industry by creators and producers of music and sound. Judged by agency, label, publishing and music production professionals, the competition will present trophies in 14 unique categories. Its Best in Show honor, named for the late Music Supervisor Ryan Barkan, will be selected by its Curatorial Committee from among the top category winners.