7 Questions: healthcare advertising

pharmaphorum spoke to Shaheed Peera about his passion for healthcare advertising and investing in new talent through his awards scheme.

What’s exciting about your field at the moment?

There seems to be an award show every week at the moment. It’s a saturated market to be in. The similarity between all of them (in my opinion) is that they all judge work in the same way, with the same people. So in essence the only main difference between them are the award show logos.

They all make a lot of money. And have never invested any of that back to help our industry attract greater diversity and young creative talent in.

So the exciting thing for us has been the opportunity to broaden the range of judges, to help enable the standard of work to be better. And to direct a proportion of profits to go towards helping bring in more diverse and creative talent into the healthcare communications industry.

It says Founder and CEO on your business cards, but what is your job really about?

As a Founder, you essentially put your money where your mouth is. So that bit’s scary. The rest of my role (which is more interesting and less scary), is to build infrastructures that help raise the level of creativity beyond any other healthcare award show, with the aim of inspiring and funding a greater range of creatives to join health and wellness agencies.

In 2014 social enterprise The School of Communication Arts 2.0 was chosen by the award winners to receive the £7K Talent Fund that is an important part of the scheme. Here’s a film of them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUMqHCE4oKM

What is healthcare advertising going to be like in 2035?

Awe-inspiring.

What or who provides you with inspiration?

The unknown.

Conversely, what person, thing, or problem would you like to wish away?

Mushrooms.

How do you switch off from work?

I have a daughter who’s 18 months. So at the moment it’s Peppa Pig.

What book would you recommend everyone should read?

I don’t really have the time to read books any more. If everyone listened to Radio 4, the world would be a better place.

About the interviewee:

Shaheed Peera is Founder and CEO of The Creative Floor Healthcare Awards. His career started in 2003 at the UK’s largest ad agency AMV BBDO. Whilst there he became the youngest person at the agency to win a D&AD Pencil.

Some of Shaheed’s career highlights include holding a Guinness World Record for building the world’s largest robot for the US NFL, plus creation of the world’s first moving image lenticular technology marketing campaign on the sides of taxis for General Electric and the first augmented reality website for Bayer Healthcare.

Shaheed moved into healthcare seven years ago and is also executive creative director, Publicis Life Brands Resolute EU.

Read another in our series of 7 Questions interviews:

Interview: medical futurist Bertalan Mesko