Road to Cannes: From Branded Entertainment to Branded Culture

This year, Spotify is proud to sponsor the first-ever Entertainment Lions for Music award as part of Lions Entertainment, a new event at Cannes Lions where brands, agencies and entertainment companies can focus on producing outstanding creative work together. Join Spotify as we count down to this year’s festival, taking place June 18-24, with our biggest presence on the Croisette yet.


The music and advertising industries have always found connection points to the consumer. But as the landscapes of both industries shift more toward always-on, brands need to find meaningful, authentic ways to participate in conversations around music and culture. Given the complexity of how music now reaches people and the multiple ways that brands want to touch consumers, is the relationship between brands and music healthier?

With Cannes Lions approaching and set to include the first-ever Lions Entertainment awards within the festival, Spotify joined a roundtable discussion about the music revolution in branded communications, and how brands can take a more audience-focused approach to their music strategy. The group included Steve Ackerman (Managing Director, Somethin’ Else), Julz Baldwin (Deputy Head of Music, Most Radicalist Black Sheep Music), Pete Beeney (Global Agency Lead, Spotify) and Fred Bolza (VP, Strategy, Sony Entertainment), and was moderated by Jez Nelson (CEO, Somethin’ Else).

The full video is below, but here are a few highlights:

  • On Authenticity: “Putting a brand at the heart of the music conversation – that’s where clients sometimes go wrong. They’re not authentic… the audience can spot that fakeness and in the end that does a disservice to the brand.” – Steve Ackerman
  • On the Future of Music in Advertising: “The responsibility is on [the industry’s] shoulders to take [music] more seriously and to have a far longer-term horizon on the work that they want to do instead of it being from campaign to campaign. Music is being listened to far more often than it used to be, because technology has allowed that to happen.” – Pete Beeney
  • On the New Entertainment Lions for Music: “It’s a chance for us to advocate for music… It’s an opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with other creative industries that are much better at celebrating their creativity. We celebrate our artists’ creativity, but actually we’ve got some brilliant people that work around them.” – Fred Bolza