Vivendi, meanwhile, is sponsoring the entertainment part of the program for the second year. Chief Marketing Officer Lucien Boyer told CNBC via email that content and entertainment marketing is a “strategic imperative” for how companies communicate with people, especially the elusive millennial audience.

How people watch TV and movies, as well as the content itself, will also be a big theme because of ever shorter attention spans, said Misha Sher, VP sports and entertainment at agency Mediacom. Sher is on the judging panel for the entertainment Lions awards, and has noticed a trend for topical themes such as the ‘culture of protest’.

This can go wrong – (see Pepsi’s ad featuring Kendall Jenner), but get it right, and a brand can cement its relationship with a consumer. “People are increasingly driven by purpose, wanting to be associated with companies and causes that make them feel they are making a positive contribution to their environment,” he told CNBC by email.

Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the innovation group at agency JWT, notes that Alibaba will be discussing the mixing of Hollywood with tech companies. “Alibaba is now a major investor in entertainment. We’re also seeing more Silicon Valley influence in Hollywood — Netflix, and Amazon, now winning major awards for their original films. This also poses exciting new territory for mediums and storytelling, using new technology,” she told CNBC via email.