Woojer Sickbeats

Pharma Lions: Cannes 2021 Decoded

US agency Area 23 wins Pharma Grand Prix

By Creative Salon

Area 23, an FCB Health Network Company, New York, has won the Grand Prix for Woojer’s ‘SICK BEATS’; the world's first music-powered airway clearance vest for cystic fibrosis.

Jury President, Anne de Schweinitz, global managing director, Healthcare FleishmanHillard: “To turn tech to such an important, beautiful use in such a cool way, I think really blew everybody away in the jury room. . .there was an underlying feeling that this was going to be something really special.”

The category, which celebrates life-changing creativity, received 509 entries from which three Gold, eight Silver, and 10 Bronze Lions were awarded. The healthcare delivery system, the way pharma companies communicate has changed dramatically, and this category celebrates creative communications from pharmaceutical clients and services.

We spoke to Cannes Lions pharma jury member Brett O'Connor, executive creative director at VCCP Health, for his insights into this year's winners.

What trends have you noticed in your category?

One of the most apparent trends in the Pharma category was the decline of live action film from 2020 in favour of animation in 2021, obviously due to the pandemic and lockdowns. That said, the level of animation at this year's show in this sector has seriously raised the bar. As always the winners this year had created 'Life Changing' work, which will enhance the lives of people who really need it. There was also recognition for work aimed at carers, which is reflective of the world we are living in right now.

What advice would you give to your clients if they want to win in this category next year?

If you want your brand to stand out and be noticed, please look at the work your competitors are doing. Hopefully it will inspire you but also reassure you that creative work not only wins awards, but more importantly can actually redefine and enhance a patient's life. Working in Healthcare, why would you want anything else?

VCCP Health has scooped the Gold Lion for this category for an exquisite piece of powerful storytelling for pharmaceutical brand Teva, to promote the extra-mile efforts of carers.

TBWA/London and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO both scooped Grands Prix in the Health & Wellness Lions, for Beco and Essity respectively. Beco. '#StealOurStaff’, which raised awareness of the ‘Disability Employment Gap’ which disrupted employers’ outdated attitudes towards people with disabilities while Essity’s ‘#WomenPainStories’, the taboo-busting campaign that explores the true extent of the pain that women endure.

The category received 1,300 entries from which the jury awarded 8 Gold, 15 Silver, and 22 Bronze Lions, as well as two Grands Prix.

AMV BBDO won the Lions Health and United Nations Foundation Grand Prix for Good - given to work created for non-profit organisations and charities - for ‘addresspollution.org’ created for (COPI) Central Office for Public Interest. The campaign sought to give every Greater London resident the ability to check air pollution levels at their doorstop and made air pollution disclosure a legal obligation for estate agents, landlords and property owners.

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