This Girl Cannes

Predictions, Observations and Questions on the Lions Health Shortlist

The Cannes Health shortlist was released this morning, so we asked a few people to give us their thoughts. The following comments are not representative of any one company, but are immediate and genuine responses collected from a number of individuals.

Brazilian is best! Last year ‘My Blood is Red and Black’ was a standout piece. This year, Brazil is back with another surefire winner. Tattoo Artists Against Skin Cancer is a wonderful, worthy, simple yet mindblowing bit of work from Ogilvy Brazil.

Lesser-spotted work still inspires. A recent Guardian article (mentioned previously here) accused Cannes of being self-serving, with celebrated work not actually experience or appreciated by many people outside of the industry. Cannes Health features a great deal of work that many us within the industry have not seen before… but that’s just the nature of the game. We simply don’t get much opportunity to see pharma work in situ, and Cannes is a great source of inspiration and debate as we get to see work from the last year showcased on a big stage.

– Expecting a win for This Girl Can.

– The HIVHeroes piece, printing vangardist magazine with HIV+ blood, is a brilliant bit of taboo-breaking, mind-changing, stigma-challenging work, and deserves a win.

Craft vs. creative: craft wins. Production values and standards are clearly on the rise. There are some beautifully made pieces in the shortlist. It’s unfortunate though, that there’s a discrepancy between the standard of craft and the standard of creative thinking. The big ideas are not up to scratch. One well-produced website uses lightbulbs to show ‘good ideas’, clocks to show ‘early diagnosis’, and uses these objects to the form the shape of the organ under discussion… Really?

– Good lord… was this inspired by Bigmouth Billy Bass?

Danger! Once again, there’s a massive imbalance between the pharma and health&wellness sectors. And once again, health&wellness is dominated by consumer agencies. Is the healthcare industry’s push for a separate Cannes awards programme going to end up as a shot in the foot? There’s a real danger of healthcare agencies missing out (even more than we do already) to consumer agencies when it comes to getting the exciting non-Rx work we all push for.

Was it effective?! There’s some great stuff here but I hope we get to see how much of this actually worked and made a difference.

The easy option? After Cannes Lions unveiled the Health awards as a separate ceremony, I fear that the inevitable has happened. There are entries that can only go for the Lion. And entries that can only go for Health. And, sadly, entries that can go for either. It’s the last group that causes the greatest unease. If you have to choose which award to go for, do you go for the ‘big ticket award’ or go pusillanimously into Health. Where, let’s face it, you think you have a better chance. Here’s the problem: you at once do your own work a disservice and disallow those more ‘truly’ in the health space a chance to have their work shown.

(Which segues nicely to…)

– Should Horlicks, Huggies and KY massage oil campaigns really be at Cannes Health alongside Rx products and disease awareness work?

We’ll be back early next week with some post-Cannes ponderings.

Finally, after all that griping (sour grapes anyone?), let’s end on a feel-good note. This is simply lovely.



2 replies »

  1. Some really great work here alongside some questionable campaigns.
    Surprised at the amount of smaller entries this year and looking forward to seeing if your ‘mystic meg’ predictions come true!


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