NAMM Announces Wanna Play? Award Recipients

From automotive to video game industries, companies inspire more Americans to make music

February 9, 2007

With the announcement of its first annual Wanna Play? awards, six companies were honored this week by NAMM, the trade association for the international music products industry, for promoting music making in their product advertising and promotional efforts.

As part of its national Wanna Play? campaign designed to inspire recreational music making, NAMM recognized major non-music industry companies that have encouraged people to pursue—or perhaps revisit—their passion for playing an instrument through their products, promotion or initiatives.

“We’re excited to see all the creative ways these mainstream consumer brands are using musical instruments and products to help tell their stories,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. “And we want to recognize them for helping our industry tell its story about making music and inspiring more people to play.”

Winners of the 2006 Wanna Play? Awards include Aleve, Ford Motor Company, Jeep®, RedOctane®, Visa and Volkswagen. Their efforts ranged from new products to community initiatives. Jeep, for example, ran television advertisements for the 2007 Jeep Compass sport utility vehicle featuring a group of “bobble heads” going to a local music retail store. By referring to the “cool stuff” you can take along for the ride, Jeep conveys the message that, along with their product, making music is hip.

Another winner, Activision’s Guitar Hero™, a hugely popular music video game published by RedOctane for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Guitar Hero features a guitar-shaped controller resembling a miniature Gibson SG®, in which the player simulates the experience of playing a real guitar and fulfilling their ultimate rock fantasy, thus providing a taste of how fun and exciting playing a musical instrument can be.

Another auto manufacturer, Volkswagen (VW), won for its unique partnership with guitar company First Act. Through its partnership, consumers buying or leasing a VW model from the 2007 line receive a First Act GarageMaster guitar customized with the VW logo and custom colored pick guards that complement the exterior of the car. NAMM applauds Volkswagen for not only inspiring people to play, but actually arming them with new musical instruments.

Winners include:

  • Aleve—honored for its advertising campaign featuring real people
  • Ford Motor Company (Ford)—honored for its “Warriors in Pink" initiative in support of Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure
  • Jeep—honored for its television advertisements for the 2007 Jeep Compass
  • Activision/RedOctane—honored for its Guitar Hero music video game for the PlayStation 2
  • Visa—honored for its “Life Takes Visa” ad campaign
  • Volkswagen—honored for its partnership with First Act

The Wanna Play? Awards are an extension of NAMM’s recently launched Wanna Play? campaign, a public education initiative designed to inspire people of all ages to become active music makers, from taking lessons to purchasing their first instrument or software.

NAMM announced the winners of the 2006 Wanna Play? Awards at the 2007 NAMM Show, which was held in Anaheim, Calif., January 18–21, 2007.