AdAge: Why Content Is Struggling to Find Its Place at Cannes

Great discussion on the broad definition of branded content. Creating branded content without organic distribution tied to a real engaged audience will not have the impact on consumers that marketers want and that is the case in every example in the article. Note that none of the content featured in the article was developed or produced with digital influencers. The Volvo Jean-Claude Van Damme video went viral but what happened after that? Nothing of any worth from Volvo but plenty of memes by natival digital creators.


The initial jury room debate was stuck on the definition of branded content. "It is so broad you could drive a truck through it," said jury president Doug Scott, exec VP-marketing and brand solutions at WME IMG.

"There's no line between advertising and branded content, no straight line anyway," said Jennifer Golub, creative director-exec director of content at TBWA content arm Let There Be Dragons. "It's more of an ambling brook."

There were 11 Gold Lions awarded at Cannes for branded content and entertainment this summer. But no one took home a Grand Prix. It was the first time since 1995 that no top honor was awarded in a category at Cannes. So what happened to the little category that couldn't in its third year of existence?