Turner Ignite Furthers Investment in CNN’s Brand Studio Courageous with Promotion of Otto Bell to Chief Creative Officer

As Turner Ignite continues to invest in premium branded content and new advertising capabilities, Otto Bell has been elevated to the position of chief creative officer for CNN’s Courageous. In this new role, he will continue to lead CNN’s award-winning brand studio dedicated to the creation of compelling brand storytelling across CNN, HLN and Great Big Story. Based in New York, Bell reports to Michal Shapira, senior vice president of news content partnerships, Turner Ignite.

“In just over two years, Otto has built a best-in-class brand studio from the ground up – from recruiting top talent that dreams as big as he does to shaping Courageous’ global purview and unique approach focused on brand journalism,” said Michal Shapira. “Otto’s creative spirit and contagious passion for the craft of storytelling has led Courageous to impressive heights, and opened up new opportunities for marketers to innovate with us. I’m looking forward to seeing this team continue to evolve and produce work that stands out in the years ahead.”

Since joining Turner to launch Courageous, Bell has been focused on experimenting with new creative formats to help marketers tell powerful brand stories across CNN’s global, cross-platform footprint and beyond. From short and long-form videos, documentaries, animation, virtual reality, podcasts, experiential events, and most recently live ads, Bell and his team continue to expand the capabilities available to marketers, and produce authentic and relevant brand stories that create emotional response. With hundreds of executions to date across every major ad category, the studio’s approach has led to expanded and new business for the company, with branded content now driving a critical portion of CNN’s overall revenue.

Under Bell’s leadership, Courageous has been honored with notable recognition, including a Silver Cannes Lion, Adweek’s “Grand Arc Award,” and Digiday Content Marketing Awards’ “Best Use of Native Advertising” in 2017. In addition to his industry accomplishments, Bell debuted his first feature documentary, “The Eagle Huntress,” to wide critical acclaim at Sundance in 2016, and was named one of Variety’s “Top 10 Directors to Watch.”

Prior to joining Turner, Bell was the creative director and a founding member of OgilvyEntertainment. During his eight years at Ogilvy, he developed, produced and directed landmark television and digital campaigns across five continents for a myriad of leading brands.

Bell is a graduate of the prestigious WPP Fellowship program and holds a Masters in English Literature from Oxford University. He is a Green Card holder for “Outstanding Contribution to American Arts and Media,” as well as a member of the Producers Guild of America and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. A native of Northern England, Bell lives in Manhattan with his wife, Cayte.


About Courageous
Courageous is Turner’s first-ever brand studio with global opportunities for marketers across the company’s multi-screen brands CNN, HLN and Great Big Story. Launched in June 2015, the studio’s unique approach is anchored in brand journalism, the discovery of great stories and the production of powerful branded content. From concept development to production to multi-platform distribution, Courageous leverages its distinct point-of-view, while delivering on business objectives for advertising partners.

Turner, a Time Warner company, is a global entertainment, sports and news company that creates premium content and delivers exceptional experiences to fans whenever and wherever they consume content. 


Publicity Contact

Allie Bodack
Senior Publicist, Business Communications, Turner