Creative perspectives: Andrew Spurgeon

Jacky Law talks to Andrew Spurgeon about the role for creatives in the global healthcare industry.

(Continued from ‘Creative perspectives: Denis Mamo‘)

pharmaphorum invited five judges from this year’s Creative Floor Healthcare Awards to talk about how the most talented people in the advertising business can be drawn into healthcare.

Here we speak with Andrew Spurgeon, who believes that with the right people healthcare advertising is well placed to produce ideas that can benefit humanity as whole.

Interview summary

JL: What’s been the most important thing you have learnt within your creative career?

AS: You can have the best ideas in the world, but if your execution sucks no one cares. Invest in the best people you can and let them keep polishing the work until the account handler is tearing it out of their hands. There’s always, always more time.

JL: How do you think healthcare can better attract advertising talent?

AS: Healthcare can’t but the right kind of agency in the healthcare space can. Have high standards and do the kind of work that all agencies aspire to.

“We want communication that transcends traditional media”

JL: What developments in creative advertising beyond healthcare could most benefit the healthcare space?

AS: Content development and making brand experiences far more immersive are trends that started hitting healthcare marketing around three years ago. We want communication that transcends traditional media and can provide the highest level of buy-in from the end customer, whether that’s a healthcare professional, patient or person on the street. I would predict that the shift towards more giving, community-centric activities that we’re seeing being adopted by consumer brands will begin to filter into the pharma companies. Really, these are businesses that should be ideally placed to provide ideas that are genuinely able to have the greatest social impact.

“I predict that the shift towards more giving, community-centric activities that we’re seeing being adopted by consumer brands will begin to filter into the pharma companies”

JL: How could healthcare award shows better recognise talented creativity?

AS: Sadly, at every category-specific show there remains a percentage of work that is below standard. This drags everything down and devalues the better work. Until someone has the balls to take a stand on this, and absolutely not allow for any kind of mediocrity, healthcare creativity will always be sneered at to some degree.

JL: What do you think will be the most exciting developments in healthcare advertising?

AS: Digital is levelling the playing field with consumer agencies. It is possible that with the right people this hugely important category could begin to produce work that can benefit humanity as whole. Whether or not the healthcare advertising agencies have the talent to exploit this opportunity remains to be seen, but it’s definitely an exciting time to be in this business.

The next interview in this series will be published next week.

About the interviewee:

Andrew Spurgeon, Creative Director at Langland, will be judging The Creative Floor Healthcare Awards. For more information about the awards or to enter, visit their website. The earlybird deadline expires on 28th February.

Andrew was the youngest creative director in the JWT network, before moving onto an international career in South East Asia and London as Global Creative Director at Shell and now at Langland.

Closing thought: How can healthcare advertising fulfil its potential?