March 27th, 2020

BMW and CNN Join Forces to Explore the Art of Leadership

In times of uncertainty, inspiring people play an even more important role in sustaining society. The BMW Group and CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) have teamed up to portray the stories and attitude of some of the most remarkable creatives, artists and leaders of our time through two unique series comprising a total of eleven short films exploring “The Art of Leadership”. By focusing on the personal stories that drove exceptional individuals in their field to inspire modern society, each film in the series will embody core leadership values of BMW: responsibility, inner strength, and independence. Values also inherent to BMW´s luxury car suite – BMW’s X7, 7, 8 und M8 Series.

On Thursday, CNN kicked off a six-part branded content series by launching the first brand film produced by CNNIC’s award-winning in-house studio Create. This first film portrays one of the most successful DJ duos and electronic music producers in the world, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. Set against the backdrop of one of their concerts in Norway, the Belgian brothers recall how they became leaders in their field, reflecting on their passion and the relationship with their audience. This and the other upcoming brand films produced by Create are shot and edited for global distribution on a mix of CNN International’s platforms across TV, digital, and social, Great Big Story and will also be featured on BMW’s central brand website.

Later this year Great Big Story, CNN’s global media company devoted to cinematic storytelling, will launch a sponsored editorial series comprising five micro-documentaries that put the spotlight on inspiring women and men who created their social impact on leading by example.

The first film scheduled for May will introduce the fascinating double life of Brandon Tory. Talented in tech while being a gifted emcee, Brandon successfully navigates both worlds – working as a senior AI engineer at Google by day and a successful hip-hop artist at night. Each film will run across Great Big Story’s platforms and social accounts, while distribution will be enhanced using WarnerMedia’s Launchpad technology to reach defined audiences across social media.

“All the best partnerships are based on common values, and I am delighted that this is the case with this exciting new project with BMW,” said Cathy Ibal, Senior Vice President, EMEA, CNN International Commercial. “As leaders in our respective fields, we honor and value those talents and characters that are portrayed in the films as they change our society for the better. Powerful, emotional storytelling from Create and Great Big Story will have a prominent stage as we distribute these films in smart ways across all platforms to reach a truly global audience that values leadership and the stories behind it.”

“BMW has a long and diverse history of projects that provide platforms and stages for creative minds and bold new voices – be it in design, art, sports or engineering. We see it as one of our missions – and have always done so, to enable and nurture transformation. These stories are the result of a perfect match between two entities which share the same values and goals. We are absolutely delighted that CNN and BMW work together to create these unique pieces about exceptional people, who are rethinking and redefining leadership. As we are always striving for excellence, we strongly believe this partnership is a milestone for both of us.” said Jens Thiemer, Senior Vice President Customer and Brand BMW.

About CNN International Commercial

CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) is responsible for the business operations of CNN’s properties outside of the United States. All commercial activities for brands such as CNN International, CNN en Español, CNN Arabic, CNN Style, CNN Business and Great Big Story are aligned within the division. This encompasses the advertising sales, sponsorship partnerships, commercial content development, content sales, brand licensing, distribution and out-of-home operations, business development and marketing for the world’s leading international news provider. CNNIC is a recognised industry leader in international advertising sales and its use of award-winning commercial content, produced through its Create unit and driven by its advanced data usage and digital capabilities, has resulted in strong and enduring partnerships with many of the world’s most recognised brands. Its Content Sales and Licensing unit has relationships with more than 1,000 affiliates ranging from licensing the CNN brand through to content supply contracts as well as offering consultancy services. CNNIC has offices across the world, with key hubs in London, Hong Kong and Miami. For more information visit

About Great Big Story

Great Big Story is a global media company devoted to cinematic storytelling. Headquartered in New York, with a bureau in London, our studios create and distribute micro docs and short films, as well as series for digital, social, TV and theatrical release. Since our launch in late 2015, our producers have traveled to 100 countries to discover the untold, the overlooked and the flat-out amazing. Our stories engage and inspire tens of millions daily. For more information, visit