Social justice got nearly equal time with branding at the 2022 Clio Music Awards, as music exec Jason Flom got a special award for his work on criminal justice reform, and a public service spot that married the message of Sandy Hook Promise and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” won a Clio in the “social good” category.

Six-time Grammy nominee Yola hosted the event, which was being held during the Music Biz conference in Nashville for the first time, at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville. Organizers further took advantage of the locale to book country music artists Breland and Lily Rose as guest performers.

Mary J. Blige joined Flom in getting a special award during the ceremony, which she accepted via a pre-taped speech. “I really, really am grateful for this award and I want to thank god for just always showering these blessings on me and taking me by surprise,” the singer said in accepting the Clio Music Legend award, presented by Adam Harter, senior VP of media, sports & entertainment at PepsiCo.

Flom was presented his Clio Music Impact Award by a fellow justice-reform podcaster, Maggie Frelang, who had just been awarded a Pulitzer earlier in the week. Flom and Frelang both spoke passionately about how unfortunately easy it has been for them to find wrongfully convicted prisoners to advocate for. Flom was mixing business, pleasure and advocacy during the trip, noting that, while in Nashville, he’d been visiting with Greta Van Fleet, signees to his Lava Records label. But on this night, he was being celebrated for his work with the Innocence Project and Lava for Good’s “Wrongful Conviction” podcast, which is now up to 263 episodes.

On a night with an otherwise partying flavor, there was also a moment of solemnity as the screens showed the spot that BBDO NY did for Sandy Hook Promise, which stepped out on a limb in taking a sexy pop song, Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” and having survivors of the Sandy Hook mass shooting sing along with a moody remix, emphasizing how their teenage dreams remained just that in the face of the jolting interruption in their lives.

On the lighter side, but still echoing a cause, “DojaCode” — which was put together by Mojo Supermarket in collaboration with RCA Records for Girls Who Code and Doja Cat — was honored for putting music to advocacy for encouraging young women to take up tech. It won in the Partnerships & Collaborations division. Mojo Supermarket has described the piece as “the world’s first-ever codeable music video” and “a first-of-its-kind interactive experience,” aimed at “getting Gen Z girls interested in coding while demonstrating its creative and cultural relevance.”

The award for best use of music in a teaser or trailer went to “Made for Love Trailer,” created by Phoenician Order Music for HBO. “Sonho,” crafted by AKQA & Stink Films for Nego Bala, won in the Film/Video division.

BBDO NY was a double winner, picking up an award for agency of the year in addition to the social good award for the Sandy Hook Promise spot. Republic Records was awarded label of the year, and Kobalt Music Publishing was honored as music publisher of the year.

Soon to be seen in “Elvis,” the always charming British-Nashvillian Yola proved a lively and freewheeling host for the live event, even as she wondered aloud why she had been asked to “pretend to be Trevor Noah for two hours” but not sing (“It’s your money!” she razzed).

Lazy loaded image
Yola hosts the 2022 Clio Music Awards at the Mercy Lounge on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by John Amis/Invision for CLIO Awards/AP Images) Invision for CLIO Awards

The Clios annual celebrate excellence in music marketing and the use of music in advertising. Along with the four grand prize trophies given out live, a total of 260 gold, silver and bronze awards were announced online.

The full list of 2022 winners can be found here.

The 2022 Grand Clio Music Awards winners:

  • Film/Video: “Sonho” by AKQA & Stink Films for Nego Bala
  • Partnerships & Collaborations: “DojaCode” by Mojo Supermarket for Girls Who Code x Doja Cat
  • Social Good: “Teenage Dream” by BBDO NY for Sandy Hook Promise
  • Use of Music in Trailers/Teasers: “Made For Love Trailer” by Phoenician Order Music for HBO

The 2022 Clio Music Of The Year Winners are:

  • Agency of the Year: BBDO NY
  • Label of the Year: Republic Records
  • Music Publisher of the Year: Kobalt Music Publishing

Lazy loaded image
Michael Kaufman, Executive Director, Clio Music, left, and Nicole Purcell, CEO Clio Awards, attend the 2022 Clio Music Awards at the Mercy Lounge on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Mickey Bernal/Invision for CLIO Awards/AP Images) Invision for CLIO Awards