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Insights from Cannes Lions Health Festival 2018

Key learnings and trends

Tom RichardsCannes Lions is one of the most coveted and respected creative festivals in the world. The trophies are recognised globally as the ultimate achievement in creativity and winning at the Cannes Lions Health Festival puts us among the world’s elite. Below we hear from Tom Richards, Chief Creative Officer of the Havas Lynx Group, the agency named as this year’s Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the Year.

To have seven shortlisted entries was incredible. To win two silvers and a bronze was amazing. To win Healthcare Agency of the Year is outstanding and exceeded all of our expectations. However, never ones to rest on our laurels, we came home not only armed with a new set of trophies for our cabinet, but also energised from being exposed to so much life-changing and inspirational work. In this article, I share some of the key learnings and trends with supporting case studies from the remarkable Cannes Lions Health Festival 2018.

Learning 1: Empathy

This is the new insight. It goes beyond profiles and stats. It’s about understanding your audience on a deeper level. Knowing what moves them, what drives them, what makes them feel.

Case Study: Ouchie 

Agency: Havas Lynx

Client: Chugai/Roche

Award: Silver Lion

When we think of arthritis we think of the old and frail. But Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (sJIA) actually affects a significant number of children. The painful flare-ups can leave them feeling extremely ill. Research showed they were too embarrassed to tell their teacher or carer that they felt unwell, describing how their condition left them feeling isolated from their classmates. The solution was simple: a patient support pack aimed specifically at children with sJIA, and a two-tone wristband to help them discreetly communicate how they’re feeling.

Learning 2: Craft

Take a great idea and make it absolutely shine. Beauty and impact in equal measure. Craft is often undervalued in the world of pharma, but when used appropriately it elevates the idea and execution to a space that cannot be ignored.

Case study: The AttackAgency: Havas Lynx

Client: AstraZeneca

Award: Silver Lion

Not your typical HCP film. Shot in 1:235 cinema formatting, with a tense and atmospheric style, it follows an elderly man who talks about an attack he had in the sea. He describes the impact – the pain, the chaos and the suffering – and we experience the attack with him through Jaws-style shots. The film ends with a big reveal: this wasn’t a shark attack, but a heart attack.

Trend 1: Problem Solving

Zone in on the core issue and find the best way to solve it. The end result should change perceptions or behaviours – or even laws. What’s great
about these ideas is that it doesn’t have to be a campaign, or even an ad, that answers the problem.

Case Study: Blink to Speak

Agency: TBWA/India

Client: Asha Ek Hope Foundation and NeuroGen Brain & Spine Institute

Award: Grand Prix/Gold Lion/Silver Lion

Creating an affordable way to help patients speak. The challenge for hospitals treating patients with ALS, MNDS or spinal cord injuries is that current solutions are ultra hi-tech and extremely expensive, making them inaccessible. The solution: a new language based solely on blinking. Knowing that this is often the one movement that patients still have control over, Blink to Speak offered a very simple way for patients to tell a doctor if they were uncomfortable, if they needed entertainment or if they needed to go home.

Trend 2: Technology

This isn’t just technology for the sake of it. It’s not about being showy or shiny – it’s about making life better. The below is a great example of tech that fits the problem at hand and integrates seamlessly into the context.

Case Study: Dot Mini

Agency: Serviceplan

Client: Becks DOT Inc

Award: Gold Lion

Because of the difficulty in translation and printing, only 3% of all text is available in braille. So they created an AI that could translate texts into braille – much faster than a human. They built it into a single device that could convert the texts into braille, using plastic ‘dots’ that move up and down with each sentence. The Dot Mini has access to hundreds of thousands of texts, and as the AI gets smarter, that number will only increase. Couple that with audio integration and you’ve got an absolute game changer.

Trend 3: Humour

I’m happy to see that pharma is finally taking steps into this territory. There’s still work to do as there’s seemingly a perception that most patients or doctors don’t have a sense of humour – but used appropriately, a bit of comedy can completely transform a healthcare campaign.

Case Study: No Needles

Agency: McCann Birmingham

Client: Dexcom

Award: Gold Lion

A radio campaign promoted a device that allows diabetes patients to monitor their blood sugar levels without needles. And they made it funny. Very funny. The idea is that the world is already full of pricks – so, as a diabetic, the last thing you want is another one in your finger. The wryly-observed scripts give some examples of the sorts of pricks we encounter on a day-to-day basis. It’s an unexpected place to use humour – and that’s what makes it so good.

Find out more insights from the Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the Year at www.havaslynx.com

Tom Richards is Chief Creative Officer at the Havas Lynx Group

In association with

Havas Lynx

3rd August 2018

From: Healthcare

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