60 seconds with Cathy Boxall, SVP Brand Entertainment, Story Lab

Belinda – What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in content marketing since the awards began five years ago?”

Cathy – More and more brands are investing in brand entertainment as a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’. Our recent DAN CMO survey found that nearly three-quarters (73%) of CMOs see investment in creativity and big ideas as essential to cutting through the noise.

And brand entertainment is challenging the supremacy of traditional interruptive advertising – Marc Pritchard of P&G (a Carat global client) recently spoke on this at length in Cannes. Highlighting the fact that as many as seven out of ten people find ads annoying when they interrupt the entertainment that they watch and highlighting the need for brands to develop new creative partnerships with the worlds of entertainment such as journalism, filmmaking and music.

Belinda –  What do you think will be the biggest trend in content marketing in 2020?

Cathy – Trends in Brand entertainment still to some degree reflect the trends in traditional entertainment such as the importance of audience interactivity. Netflix’s ‘Bandersnatch’ is still held up as a market-leading example of the genre and brands like Tinder and Porsche have been experimenting with this on their own and with partner platforms. It’s a creatively complex and potential expensive route, but I expect to see more brands exploring this space in 2020.

Belinda – How can brands use content marketing to align themselves with particular values or topical issues?

Cathy – Brand entertainment provides a fantastic opportunity for brands to tell stories that are important to their consumers and we know that consumers actively expect brands to create social impact. Example: Vodafone’s recent partnership with Marvel Studios around Captain Marvel that stepped outside of the bounds of a traditional film partnership by featuring real-life female heroes in the content as part of VDF’s goal to support 50 million women by 2025. That said, any brand content programme still needs to be linked to real, measurable action. Modern consumers are hyper alert to potential ‘green-washing’ and any brands who choose to engage in this space need to prove both authenticity and real action.


Cathy Boxall, SVP Brand Entertainment, UK Lab joins the World Media Awards 2020 Judges to discuss the changes and trends that she sees today in content marketing. To find out more about the World Media Awards and how to enter CLICK HERE 

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