Was pharma bold enough at Lions Health 2018?

The Lions Health 2018 jury brought 10 senior communications executives together in Cannes, with representatives from China, Australia, UK, US, Brazil, Dubai, Ireland and Denmark.

One of those invited to sit on the Health and Wellness Jury the south of France was Andre Hansen (pictured below), who’s creative director at Anthill. He joined the Copenhagen-based life science digital agency in January, following a nine-year stint with Ogilvy Healthworld.

Andre spoke to pharmaphorum about Lions Health 2018, the quality of work on show, how creative pharma is with technology and Anthill’s BOLDpharma initiative.

How would you characterise the work you saw at Lions Health 2018?

The biggest topic at last year’s festival was around AI and the effective use of data. This year, the focus shifted to storytelling. We saw a lot of heartfelt stories and insights – all beautifully crafted and impactful.

What was the standard of work like this year?

I was really surprised by the overall quality and standard of the entries. Very impressive. It was a long, difficult process separating the good work from the great work. We had to be really ruthless at times, but we agreed on clear criteria before and during our judging process.

How creative was pharma with its use of technology?

The ‘Use of Technology’ category was very competitive this year. Clients and agencies were bolder and braver in their approach to solve global health and wellness issues. Technology wasn’t used just for the sake of introducing new innovative products or devices, it really served a purpose in highlighting a problem or creating awareness around specific diseases. Technology was also used to effectively depict what patients are going through.

Anthill Andre Hansen, Lions Health 2018 jury memberCan you tell us about Anthill’s BOLDpharma initiative?

As with Cannes Lions, BOLDpharma is about encouraging breakthrough ideas and championing communications that drive change and make a real difference to people’s lives. Specifically, the project will seek to inspire people with what’s possible, build a community of like-minded individuals, and explore the barriers to action – all the while demonstrating practical steps to take.

Do you think  the Lions Health 2018 awards saw pharma communications getting ‘BOLDer’?

This year, we saw remarkable, bold work and the interesting use of unexpected communication channels. In a highly-regulated industry, that’s impressive. Pharma campaigns need to be twice as creative to drive real change and elicit a meaningful conversation with audiences.

How can the industry and patients alike benefit from pharma being more BOLD?

The most successful campaigns at Cannes helped to solve big problems with simple ideas, clear messages and impactful results. I believe that a key element to any campaign is to have the right insights regarding your audience. Being bold means tackling difficult issues in a modern and innovative way that will truly resonate with all stakeholders.

What was your favourite memory from Cannes this year?

The people and the outstanding work. My fellow jurors recognised the big responsibility we had to award the best of the best and we felt honored to be part of the festival. The toughest part, perhaps, was to saying goodbye. But we are still in contact, sharing ideas, inspiring each other to push the boundaries. By changing perceptions, developing meaningful conversations and creating bold campaigns we can all make a contribution to improving people’s lives.