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Health & Wellness Lions: Cannes 2022 Decoded

The Grand Prix in the Health & Wellness category was won by VMLY&R Mumbai for 'The Killer Pack' campaign for Maxx Flash, a mosquito repellent brand

By Ian Darby

Judges were impressed by the work's elegant product innovation when used to solve a real problem for people in India. This took the shape of the introduction of biodegradable packaging lined with an active ingredient that kills mosquito larvae outside people's homes, preventing the spread of diseases such as dengue and malaria.

Ogilvy London was awarded with a Silver Lion for the Dove 'Reverse Selfie' campaign, which sought to address the damage that retouching apps have the potential to cause to girls' self-esteem. The agency picked up a Bronze Lion, also for Dove, with its 'Toxic Influence' activity.

R/GA London was also the recipient of a Silver Lion in the category for the Nike 'Nikesync' work.

Creative Salon caught up with Andy Jex, chief creative officer at TBWA\London and a judge in the Health & Wellness category, to hear his thoughts.

What were the key trends in the Health & Wellness category?

This is a multi-faceted and huge category now, post-Covid, where all brands can be health brands. It’s no longer a quiet, niche, overly regulated category.

There was less actual Covid work, and more about long-term solutions as a result of how the world has changed post-pandemic. Like the 'Project Convey' from Cox Communications.

An amazing range and diverse spread of work, from different brands, charities, regions, tones and many shapes of work. The balance of charity and brands was very even in final metal.

And a nice mix of work that’s technology and simple, smart, low-cost solution.

Probably more physical health work than mental health work. Women’s physical health still very prevalent and dominant

It was important to have big brands step in - Heineken, Cox, Harley, and Nike rather than just true H&W brands. In categories like telco, sport, leisure, automobile, and alcohol.

There’s more humour wit and entertainment than you may expect. Work that wasn't too worthy stood out and held its own.

Film wasn't very strong in this category. PR very strong. Product innovation or product creation was strong too.

What advice would you give to marketers wanting to win a Lions in the category next year?

Any brand now has the right to act in Health and Wellness. There's opportunities galore to win for consumer brands, FMCG and beyond. Humour and entertainment will still stand out, and there's a desire for more work like this. Make sure you're creating an action-orientated solution not just awareness. Be clever and simple ,and ensure craft is of the highest level. Technology has a huge role to play and can open up many opportunities but simple analogue work like 'The Killer Pack 'still has the power to astound.

What was your favourite work in this category?

Cox's Project Convey for amazing user experience and response to a post-Covid world.

Heineken for being a beer brand that stuck its neck on the line for a health belief, something it didn't need to do.

Killer Pack and Tough Turban for being exemplary in product innovation. Lil' Sugar for a high level of craft in a category that traditionally isn't used to it. I don't remember such a simple PR hook that has similar power - non-fungible testicles for finding a new, relevant way in to a familiar conversation.

Why did the winner win?

It's a simple, clever, elegant and analogue product innovation from a region that really needs it.

'The Killer Pack 'helps to solve a real problem for real people who have very little. If it saves one life it's an amazing accomplishment. It has the ability to scale up beyond India to other regions on Earth.

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