Anthill on jury panel at Cannes Lions – lessons from today’s best health communications

Anthill on jury panel at Cannes Lions – lessons from today’s best health communications

This year Anthill, represented by our Creative Director André Hansen, was chosen to join the Health and Wellness jury at Cannes Lions – the most established and coveted awards festival for the creative and marketing communications industry.

Cannes Lions trophies are recognised globally as the ultimate achievement in creativity and so it is an honour for Anthill to take part in picking this year’s winners. We were also delighted because the approach of Cannes Lions is so closely aligned with our own – to act boldly and champion communications that drive change and make a real difference to people’s lives.

We interviewed André, fresh back from Cannes, for his views on the very best creative work in the life sciences today and what lessons pharma marketers can apply right now.

Were there any key themes in the work that you saw?

The work was very diverse this year. Major topics were organ donation, suicide prevention and awareness, opioid addiction, drink safety and healthcare services.

What made the very best work stand out from the rest?

The outstanding pieces and winners had a couple of things in common: simple ideas, well-crafted with remarkable results. Integrated campaigns that fused health with the lives of people – resulting in a positive impact on the patients and healthcare professionals – definitely cut through the clutter. Another key success factor was a strong call to action: what did the campaign expect from its audience? What did the campaign want the audience to do?

What judging criteria did you apply?

There was a lot of debate and decisions around what is best for our industry. This was a big responsibility, as more than 15 000 advertising colleagues attended Cannes looking for inspiration. We had the following criteria for all the awards and more importantly the Grand Prix winner.

  1. Does the work raise the profile of our industry?
  2. Are we driving the category forward by awarding this piece?
  3. Is the work responsible?
  4. Is it technically precise?
  5. Does it fuse health and wellness into everyday lives?
  6. Is it flawless, immaculate or remarkable?

Was the work mostly traditional advertising or something different?

I was very surprised by the innovative use of technology, but not only trendy high-tech VR and AR but also low-tech solutions – simple but effective ideas, based on real insights. The clever use of existing channels also added to the success and impact of these global campaigns.

What was the overall standard? Was it generally high or were there some obvious winners?

The work was of outstanding quality and standard. The judging process was long and meticulous and as a group, we were aligned from the start to award the best of the best. We did not have obvious winners but, during the 5 days of live judging, it became clear that we had some unanimous favourites and clear front-runners for Gold Lions. It took us eight hours of intense discussion to award the Gold Lions – to give you an idea of how thorough and responsible we were in making these decisions and how difficult it was to decide between great and outstanding work.

What lessons should pharma companies draw from Cannes?

Pharma companies and wellness institutions from all over the world have a responsibility to their consumers to never lose the human connection. Each of the breakthrough ideas at Cannes was based on a simple human truth. It is important to never forget who you are speaking to and how the message will reach the chosen audience. Based on these insights, agencies developed well crafted, thought-provoking integrated campaigns that truly resonated with the target market.

Join the BOLDpharma movement

Want to support more innovation in pharma? We launched BOLDpharma to celebrate creativity in life science communication and build a movement of confident, bold-thinking people who will drive the industry’s development for years to come – and we invite you to take part.

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