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Jan
2024
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Johannes Leonardo’s Leo Premutico Named Chairperson for 2024 AMP Awards for Music & Sound

 Leo Premutico, whose work as a creative leader has won awards for its use of music at prestigious advertising competitions around the world, has been named Chairperson of the 2024 AMP Awards for Music & Sound. 

Entries for the AMP Awards are being accepted now, with a submission deadline of March 1, 2024. To be eligible for the competition, work must have first aired or been released between February 27, 2023 and February 12, 2024. For full details on entering, along with fees, category descriptions and rules, visit the AMP Awards entry portal here.

As Show Chair, Premutico will be tasked with helping assemble the AMP Awards Curatorial Committee, which will review the finalists in each category to ensure they meet the competition’s criteria. He’ll also lead the committee’s deliberations, which results in the naming of one category winner as the Ryan Barkan Best in Show honoree.

Premutico founded Johannes Leonardo with his partner, fellow Co-Founder and Creative Chairman Jan Jacobs, in 2007, after successful stints at agencies in New York, London and his native Australia. From helping engineer a major perception turnaround for Volkswagen to repositioning Adidas into a challenger of the status quo to resuscitating the heritage brands of Kraft Heinz, Johannes Leonardo has been at the forefront of driving growth and cultural influence for its clients. The agency has also been tapped repeatedly by the world’s leading tech companies, among them Uber, Meta, Amazon, and Google.

Among JL’s honors was being named to Fast Company’s list of Most Innovative Companies and consistently being included in Ad Age’s A-List for multiple years in a row.

“We’re beyond honored to have Leo as our AMP Awards Chair for 2024,” says Carol Dunn, President of the AMP National Board and Executive Producer at Human. “His agency has a distinguished legacy of creating work that shows an intuitive understanding of the power of music and sound to connect with today’s empowered consumers. As a former two-time AMP Award Best in Show winner himself, we trust he’ll bring a depth of knowledge, insight and sensitivity to our deliberations this year.”

Premutico, who founded Johannes Leonardo at 29 years of age, has twice been featured in Creativity’s 50 Most Influential People. Earlier in his career, he won the Australian Ansett Encouragement Award for Young Creative of the Year, and was named the Best Young Creative in the UK by Campaign Magazine. Later, he helped lead Saatchi & Saatchi New York to its Cannes Advertising Agency of the Year honors.

“I’m honored to accept this role with the AMP Awards,” Premutico says. “Professionally, music and sound have always played a big role for me, and I view it as a particularly interesting art form right now, when so much of the conversation today is about technology and efficiency. We forget that the most powerful lever we have in our arsenal is emotion. And nothing does emotion like music.”

Over the years, Johannes Leonardo has made its mark with award-winning ads driven by music and sound. Its “Damn Boots” spot for Nomis, the first spot produced by the agency, featured an original track performed by Phil Mossman of LCD Soundsystem, and won a Gold Lion for music in Cannes. The agency’s work for Adidas Originals, “My Way,” not only won Best in Show at the AMP Awards but took a Grand Prix at Cannes as well. It followed that up with another AMP Best in Show winner for Adidas, “Remember the Why.” Other AMP winners include work for Volkswagen’s breakthrough “Hello Light” spot, which introduced its move into electric vehicles, and its work for Instagram, which won Best Use of Music in a Campaign. 

The role music and sound plays in an ad’s success is top of mind for Premutico, not surprisingly. “You can see that in our body of work,” he notes. “For us, it’s been a journey of going from asking, ‘what piece of music is going to do justice to this ad,’ to thinking more about how music can inspire the message, or deepen its cultural impact. How is it going to take the emotional resonance of this idea to the next level? Our belief in the role of music has really informed how we think as an agency, going all the way back to that first piece we did for Nomis. It was there for us from the very beginning.

“It’s about going from music as a supporting element to really injecting the discussion of music, and the influenceit can have, into the early stages of the process,” Premutico continues. “It’s not leaving it to the last minute and scrambling to put the right track on your piece of work. You don’t really know what the impact of your work could be unless you’re considering music and sound from the nascent stage of idea.”

The value of having an advertising competition devoted solely to music and sound, and judged by working professionals in the discipline, is something Premutico says is important. “It gives music producers and composers, as well as sound designers, the spotlight they deserve,” he states. “I think music and sound design is, in some ways, the unsung hero. That’s because when you take in a piece of communication, it usually operates in the subconscious, and we often attribute the way we feel to the visual storytelling or dialogue. But it’s frequently the music and sound design that made it mesmerizing, and gave it that emotional impact. So it’s great there’s a competition that deepens the conversation and celebrates the specific audio artistry at play.”

The AMP Awards features 13 categories covering everything from original music and sound design to best use of licensed music, outstanding adaptations/arrangements, outstanding mix, best artist and brand collaborations and audio-only executions. Entry is open to work commissioned by a client for release via streaming or linear TV, digital, mobile, experiential or other media able to deliver in the moving image. Winners will be presented at a gala awards presentation, which will include live performances from top artists, scheduled for May 15, 2024 at Sony Hall in New York City.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the AMP Awards, sponsored annually by the Association of Music Producers (www.associationofmusicproducers.org). AMP was established to give voice to the companies that provide brands with the power of music and sound to engage audiences and drive home the effectiveness of their messaging. To view the 2023 AMP Award winners, go here.

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