The music business association NARM, the RIAA, record labels, and participating artists today helped kick off a new promotional effort designed to relaunch the historic Give The Gift Of Music campaign for the contemporary marketplace.
The campaign includes the launch of a dedicated website, as well as other activation points aimed at engaging consumers at a time when music, according to NARM, can be given as a gift in many different ways — from physical product to downloads and online subscriptions.
As part of the campaign, a number of artists have recalled their music-gifting memories.
"We didn't have much money growing up, but my mother knew how much I loved music," said GRAMMY-winner Kelly Clarkson. "For Christmas one year, she gave me five CDs with money she had been saving. I wore those CDs out. No one on this planet played Boyz II Men and Reba McEntire more than I did in 1995. From then on, every Christmas I begged for music and nothing else. Music is powerful, personal and a great gift."
For GRAMMY winner Darius Rucker, the special gift was a guitar. "I was 10 years old, it was Christmas, and I really wanted a guitar. When I got up Christmas morning, there it was sitting there right by the tree and I'll never forget that feeling."
Some artists weave prosaic and personal tales of the gift of music. "When I was younger, [my parents] put [me] in guitar lessons, piano lessons and vocal lessons," said GRAMMY winner Colbie Caillat, "and I remember listening to music with my dad and he taught me what songwriting was. They took me to see amazing live bands. It all inspired me to do what I do today."
Other artists participating in the campaign range from the Door's Ray Manzarek and Heart's Ann Wilson to Gavin DeGraw, Blake Shelton and Jazmine Sullivan.
A number of organizations will incorporate elements of the Give the Gift of Music campaign into their events and promotions. During Back to Black Friday, a program designed by the organizers of Record Store Day on Nov. 26, hundreds of independent record stores will wrap gift purchases using the Give the Gift of Music logo. Last April 17, the annual Record Store Day saw the event's greatest sales increase in its three-year history, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures.
Additional features on the Give the Gift of Music website will include a public section where music fans can share their own music gift stories; a gift registry where fans can suggest music gifts they'd like to receive from friends and loved ones via e-mail or Facebook postings; a searchable database by date, genre and artist to help find or inspire gift ideas; and highlights of currently available or upcoming boxed sets, special editions or other deluxe music products. Fans can also interact with the campaign via Facebook and Twitter.
"Studies show that there continues to be extraordinary interest in the gifting of music for all types of holidays and occasions, or simply to show someone you're thinking of them," said NARM President Jim Donio. "This is particularly true in today's economy, since music is both affordable and lasts a lifetime. The tools that this campaign brings to consumers will make it easier than ever for people to find and give the perfect music gift."