Right now, immunologists and oncologists are collaborating to invent powerful cures for cancer, genome tests are revolutionising personalised medicine, and VR is helping overcome vertigo and hydrophobia. Better yet, AI and wearables guide us to stay well, hopefully avoiding disease altogether. These are just some of the powerful stories healthcare creatives get to convey.
When I came to healthcare, I had doubts about the restrictions of what some in consumer advertising see as a creative backwater. But health’s innovation sea-change has enabled it to flourish. The potential to touch people’s lives in a way no other sector can, makes it unique and inspiring for me.
My background as an integrated and digital creative with 20-odd years in consumer-ville appealed to TBWA\WorldHealth. They were keen to apply their underlying philosophy of Disruption®, on themselves and our clients.
In typical ‘me’ style, I threw myself in, keen to share all I’d learned on consumer brands like BA, T-Mobile, Dulux and Barclays, and to apply my creative, user-centric skills, honed working with developers, UX specialists and planners.
All sectors have their conventions and regulations. It’s just that healthcare, and specifically Pharma, has more than most. The good news is you’re working with life-changing healthcare. The bad news is you’re regulated away from open discourse with the wider population.
But as the rather clever Bernardo Romero (Area 23 Creative Director) said at Cannes Health this year, “regulation is the road to innovation, and creativity can use rules to break rules”. Awards programs are full of amazing examples of innovation in the face of regulatory adversity, especially in Pharma advertising.
I see that the future of healthcare can’t be sustained by the advertising convention of a standard brief and creative response.
Above: Winner of the Consumer – 11C – Out of Home & Experiential category at the Best of Health Awards 2016. Agency: Area 23, An FCB Health Network Company, Brand: National Bone Marrow Database
The outstanding, recently awarded creative comes from briefs open enough to inspire product innovation, and tells powerful human stories from which intriguing campaigns are built. Healthcare comms will thrive along the seams of technology, at start-up pace, and needs real collaboration with our big Pharma and Biotech clients to do so. Breaking conventions, they’ll really stand out for their increasingly converged audiences of professionals, patients and carers.
So, I’m very pleased and honoured to be convening the IPA Best of Health Show jury this year – a prestigious and intelligent awards programme. This year’s jury will be a great mix of health-network big guns, independents and new kids on the block.
Above: The Breathless Choir by Phillips
In light of the evolving creative world I’ve described, we’ve introduced two new categories this year – ‘Excellence in Data’ and ‘Excellence in Innovation’ – aligning with IPA president Sarah Golding’s ‘Magic and the Machines’ agenda. Referring to us creatives, automation and machine learning, she says: “We need to see the opportunities to grow alongside our new automated colleagues and embrace new tools.” This is especially true in Healthcare.
So, like me, leap into a sector ripe with innovation. Take on its challenges. The best of health is definitely yet to come.
The IPA Best of Health Show Awards entries are now open, with the ceremony taking place in November this year. Entries will be accepted till August 25. Download our Entry Pack, for details on the several categories and criteria for selection.