Carmilla, Shaftesbury’s global digital phenomenon, recently received the Brand Content of the Yearaward from MIPTV. The award was presented at the MIPTV conference in Cannes, France on April 11, 2018.

Carmilla stars Elise Bauman and Natasha Negovanlis were on stage to accept the award, and were soon joined by Shaftesbury Chairman and CEO Christina Jennings and Shaftesbury SVP, Branded Entertainment Kaaren Whitney-Vernon for a panel discussion of all things Carmilla and branded content, hosted by Drew Baldwin, Founder of online video curation platform Tubefilter. U by Kotex® Global Sector Leader Fiona Tomlin also joined the discussion via pre-recorded video.

During the discussion, Elise and Natasha shared the history of Carmilla, and how it become a true transmedia brand and put branded entertainment on the map. Kaaren added that Carmilla’s origin really came from U by Kotex®’s desire to step away from traditional advertising to try and reach their target audience of young women.

“People don’t want to see ads,” Kaaren said, “but as brand managers, that’s been our go-to for years: we just create 30-second ads, we get our reach and we tell people how great our product is. We can’t do that anymore with young people.”

With Carmilla, the idea of entertaining an audience first instead of just telling them about a product was the goal: creating great characters and great stories and drawing people in instead of just pushing out product.

Christina added that Shaftesbury began developing the Carmilla concept as a throwback to sponsored soap operas from the 1960s, and the partnership with U by Kotex®, with their desire to be bold and different, made perfect sense.

Check out the full video for more including:

  • How Branded Entertainment delivers better, more qualified metrics, not just vanity metrics
  • How to develop brand awareness and recognition without product placement
  • Fiona’s five key takeaways for developing successful branded content