Setting the benchmark for creative excellence in communications, the International Festival of Creativity – Cannes Lions – will reward creativity in branded content and entertainment, defined as the creation of, or natural integration into, original content by a brand. Avi Savar, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Big Fuel, a full-service global social media marketing and communications company based in New York that takes brands from content to commerce, will chair the inaugural Branded Content & Entertainment Lions Jury.
The purpose of branded content and entertainment is to deliver marketing messages by engaging consumers via relevant content platforms rather than traditional advertising methods.
Entrants to the Branded Content & Entertainment Lions category will demonstrate how a brand has successfully worked independently or in association with a content producer or publisher to develop and create or co-create entertaining and engaging content for their audience. This could be either by creating original content or programming for a brand or by naturally integrating a brand into existing formats by partnering with a publisher or media partner.
Entries should demonstrate how consumer insight successfully integrated into original content drives audience engagement and creates synergy across paid, owned and earned media.
Entries to Branded Content & Entertainment Lions might leverage a single media channel, such as web video or broadcast, but may also use multiple platforms to deliver content to audiences across various channels, including: radio, magazines, books, gaming, music, video, mobile, social, community, blogs, experiential events, and more.
Since the use of branded content & entertainment differs from one country to another, entrants will be required to describe the current situation around branded content & entertainment in their country or the region where the campaign appeared, including any restrictions or regulations imposed by TV stations, broadcasting companies, government or other regulating body.
“The International Festival of Creativity at Cannes is the premier advertising award show. I’m honoured and excited to participate and look forward to the celebration of branded content & entertainment as part of it,” said Avi Savar upon his appointment. “As Jury President, I hope to guide the process in a way that will inspire people to create innovative and immersive content.”
Philip Thomas, CEO, Cannes Lions, commented, “Branded content & entertainment has become key to brand communication that creatively engages with consumers. Therefore, to include it in Cannes Lions is important not only for the continued development of the Festival as a global celebration of creativity in communications, but to also give due recognition of the convergence of marketing and entertainment.”
He further said, “We are delighted to count on the expertise of Avi Savar, an innovator whose work continues to influence the shape of brand communications, media and customer engagement, to guide and set the standard of this new category in its inaugural year.”
The Branded Content & Entertainment Lions winners will be announced on Saturday, June 23, 2012 in Cannes, alongside the Film, Craft, Titanium and Integrated winners. Additional information on Branded Content & Entertainment Lions will be available when entries open on January 26.
Branded Content & Entertainment, together with the already announced new Mobile Lions section, brings the total number of Cannes Lions awards categories to 15.