The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences today launches the biggest advertising campaign in the organization's history for the 51st annual Grammy Awards.

Developed by ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day the campaign includes television, radio, out of home, print, and online. In the TV ads, portraits of singers such as Thom York, Rihanna and Stevie Wonder are drawn on screen using titles of songs that were critical to their development. The artists are heard talking about importance of music. Yorke's participation is particularly noteworthy because the reclusive frontman for Radiohead rarely does commercial ads.

Print and online will be similar although will use different artists such as Lil Wayne, Lenny Kravitz and Kanye West. Whether the artists seen in the campaign will play a role in the ceremony remains unclear. "We're hoping to bring everything to reality and I can't comment beyond that," said Rob Schwartz, executive creative director, TBWA.

The Academy needs the campaign to get viewers to tune after last year's awards were the third least watched in Grammy history and is promising "surprises" during the telecast. According to Evan Greene, the Academy's CMO, the campaign cost "in the mutli-millions" and is the most the organization has spent on an ad campaign in its history.

"What we wanted to do is focus on artists that are iconic or are making important contributions to music," said Greene. "The Grammy's are more than a music event, they are a cultural event."

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