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Cannes Lions has launched its 15th entry section, rewarding creativity in branded content and entertainment. The new Branded Content & Entertainment Lions will seek to celebrate work that has demonstrated 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.

Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions, explained the thinking behind the new category, saying: „Branded content and 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.“

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.

Heading up the first Branded Content & Entertainment Lions jury is Avi Savar, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Big Fuel. Avi launched Big Fuel, a pure-play social media agency designed for the needs of large brands, in 2004. What started as a one-man “branded content studio” has today grown into the largest social media agency in the world – with clients that include: T-Mobile, Sherton, Westin, Starwood Preferred Guest, The Children’s Place, Nurtisystem, Bacardi, Gore-Tex, Citi, Clorox, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Philips.

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 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.“

The Branded Content & Entertainment Lions winners will be announced on Saturday 23 June, in Cannes, alongside the Film, Craft, Titanium and Integrated winners. Additional information on Branded Content & Entertainment Lions will be available when entries open on 26 January.

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