The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity are entering the creative community’s collective radar again with entry season coming up and it’s just been announced that there’s a new competition being added to the mix: the Branded Content & Entertainment Lions.
According to a release, the competition will reward creativity in work involving “the creation of, or natural integration into, original content by a brand.” The Branded Content & Entertainment entry period open on Jan. 26 and winners will be revealed on June 23 in Cannes alongside the Film, Craft, Titanium and Integrated winners.
The 59th iteration of the Cannes Lions run from June 17 to 23.
Cannes Lions CEO Philip Thomas noted that branded content and entertainment has become pivotal 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 said.
Entrants to this new competition will need to “demonstrate how a brand has successfully worked independently or in association with a content producer or publisher to develop and create… entertaining and engaging content for their audience.”
That could mean original content or programming was created for a brand, or a brand was naturally integrated into existing formats through a partnership with a publisher or media partner.
Entries can leverage either a single media channel or may also use multiple platforms to get content to audiences, including web video, broadcast, radio, magazines, gaming, music and many more.
The inaugural Branded Content & Entertainment Lions jury will be chaired by its jury president, Avi Savar. As founder and CCO of Big Fuel, a New York-based social media marketing and communications company, Savar will lead the nine-person jury.
Commenting on the new competition, Savar said, “I hope to guide the process in a way that will inspire people to create innovative and immersive content.”
Along with the newly announced Mobile Lions section, the Branded Content & Entertainment contest boosts the total number of Cannes Lions awards to 15.
Entry information can be found at the Cannes Lions website.