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Pegasus opens health track at Cannes Lions

This year Ashfield Healthcare Communications integrated comms agency, Pegasus, was invited to open the health track.



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More than 16,000 marketing and comms professionals, representing some 4,500 companies arrived for a week of inspiration, awards, workshops and talks from some of the world’s most creative brands, companies and people.

This year, we were fortunate enough to be occupying one of the coveted speaker slots – which just so happened to be the opening session, on the opening day, on the Health Insights Stage.

Entitled ‘Can Behavioural Science Save Lives?’ and featuring Dr Paul Chadwick from University College London’s Centre for Behaviour Change, our own head of insights and planning Corrina Safeio and Stuart Hehir, showing that the seemingly very different worlds of creative agencies and academia can come together to embed behaviour change theory into the creative process.

It’s also worth mentioning that Pegasus have a number of campaigns entered, including eight submissions for our #SmallTalkSavesLives campaign for Samaritans, Network Rail and British Transport Police, as well as entries in the craft categories for writing and illustration.

Cannes Lion Wrap up

Having been immersed in creativity for the last three days of Cannes, the Pegasus team, and take time to reflect on what they have seen at Cannes Lions and what they will each be bringing back to Pegasus.

“In marketing, we live in a bubble and don’t step outside and become a member of the public … good creative people are people who look in on something from the outside world.”

Leaving aside the fact that Sir John Hegarty was speaking at an exclusive Financial Times event from a hotel veranda overlooking the Cote d’Azur, it’s hard not to admit the man has a point.
It was our last talk at Cannes Lions, and although Sir John wasn’t talking about health, his was a sentiment that echoed throughout our three days here.

The most striking work and the most powerful speakers were those who’d managed to get out of the bubble to deliver creativity that people actually needed.

Here, each of our team shares their takeaways from the three days.


Corrina Safeio, Head of Planning

My key takeaway was that we’re often guilty in healthcare of thinking as our industry as siloed and subject to different rules from the rest of the marketing world.

Of course, ours is a highly-regulated space, but I think we also need to remember that people are people, whether they’re patients or consumers, and we need to be creative in persuading them just as we do in any other industry.


Neil Sparks, Head of Design

Something that really stood out for me was that the stand-out work happened when clients were prepared to be bold.

Healthcare is often considered pretty safe, but there were some amazing examples of client and agency working closely together to manage the internal politics and make sure the work didn’t get diluted along the way. The Sick Kids ‘Vs’ campaign was a perfect demonstration of this, and the work was more memorable and effective as a result.

Adam Hayes, Senior Designer

For me, it was that great creative needs time to develop and breathe. A creative duo is ideal, three people is a problem in many cases.
So let’s be brave not only in the conceiving of the ideas, but also in filtering out the noise that can invade the most important part of the creative process.



Ian Ray, Head of Copy

The big learning for me was that more meditative, long-form storytelling can make a real impact, albeit in a different way to the more common high octane, pacey work.
It’s not going to be right for every situation, but it feels like there’s a trend amongst braver clients to invest in slower, more meaningful stories.

26th July 2018

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