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NBCUniversal Marketing Executive Jamie Cutburth on Celebrating Pride and the Importance of Authentic Stories

NBCUniversal's Executive Vice President, Marketing & Content Partnerships talks about the importance of authenticity in storytelling, brand partnerships and celebrating Pride.


June 12, 2024

Jamie Cutburth is the Executive Vice President, Marketing & Content Partnerships, NBCUniversal Advertising and Partnerships. In this role, he oversees the marketing vision for the company’s advertising partners across the entire NBCUniversal ecosystem including NBCU’s broadcast, cable and streaming platforms: NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, Syndicated Programming, Telemundo, Universal Kids, USA Network and Peacock. He is a proud member and advocate of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Can you talk about the importance of authenticity in storytelling?  

Storytelling has the power to inform and inspire conversation and community across the globe with the opportunity to discover new perspectives and strengthen connections. Authentic stories are important because they are representative of people's lived experiences and emotions. When stories are authentic, they have the power to resonate with individuals on a personal level, creating a connection that fosters empathy, understanding, and unity. A quote that sticks with me is, “With great power, comes great responsibility,” famously said by both Spiderman and RuPaul. 

At NBCUniversal, we have power to change hearts and minds with the content and stories we create. Which is why representation is one way of making sure the news we cover, the movies we produce, and the originals we develop, resonate with people across all backgrounds. As marketers, it is imperative that we ensure diverse voices and cultures are reflected within these stories to provide a platform for marginalized voices to be heard and for underrepresented communities to see themselves reflected in media. 

How does this translate into the conversations you have with brands?  

Creativity is not an individual endeavor; it thrives in collaboration and diversity. Now more than ever, audiences can tell when a brand partnership is not authentic. Consumers identify with brands that represent them, so it’s important to foster transparency year-round, rather than having the conversation solely during the dedicated month.  As marketers strive to reach increasingly diverse communities, NBCUniversal has the creative resources and expertise to develop engaging and authentic stories that speak to all audiences. 

How have brand partnerships relating to LGBTQIA+ community evolved in your time at NBCU?  

Pride is an opportunity for our community to unapologetically represent their authentic selves, and consumers are seeking brands who live that ethos beyond the month of June. Soley relying on traditional advertising isn’t sufficient anymore with the way our culture has evolved. For example, in 1981 Absolut Vodka was one of the first brands to engage directly with LGBTQ+ members through a print advertising campaign. Fast forward to where we are now over four decades later, consumers have evolved and are seeking much more from brands. Lego’s “Everyone is Awesome!” campaign is a great example from recent years where a brand fully leaned in and created a custom first of its kind LGBTQ-themed set to represent the broad diversity of consumers. And one of my favorite examples for NBCUniversal is when we partnered with the sparkling water brand, Bubly and “Watch What Happens Live!” to bring awareness to the complicated path to parenthood that the LGBTQ+ community faces through a fun children’s book for adults. 

Can you talk about the importance of the Employee Resource Groups at NBCUniversal?  

The relationship employees have with their workplace has become more important than ever before. To say you work somewhere evokes a feeling.  Employee Resource Groups are an incredible help to new employees joining the company because it sends a message that we are striving for all individuals to be seen, heard, and accepted. It adds another layer to your workplace identity when you know you can come into work every day feeling like you belong and are part of something. That’s especially true for groups underrepresented in the media landscape. ERG’s give us a sense of belonging, a place to build community. 

What is your current favorite show?  

I am currently obsessed with the new season of “Below Deck Mediterranean.” Captain Sandy is such an icon, and I am so excited to see her back on the water. This season, we get to see her new wife Leah aboard the ship, so I’m thrilled audiences will get to know her and her story even more.    

What is your favorite quote or mantra that you live by? 

 “Your dreams are your responsibility.” - Mel Robbins, Motivational Speaker and Podcast Host. It emphasizes the importance of putting in the work to become the best version of yourself. No one else is going to do that for you.  

Who is your favorite LGBTQIA+ character? 

Bowen Yang is an incredible talent, and I am thrilled to see the first openly gay cast member of Saturday Night Live.    

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever gotten? 

What got you here, won’t get you there. Just because a certain approach or strategy has worked for you in the past does not mean it will continue to be effective in the future. As you progress in your career, it’s important to stay curious and to keep finding new opportunities to learn. Invest in your professional development by pursuing additional education, attending conferences, networking with a wide range of individuals, and staying current on industry trends. This will not only help you stay relevant, but also open up new opportunities for advancement.