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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Cannes Lions Health Day 2: WTF?

Written by: | | Dated: Tuesday, June 18th, 2019


Cannes Lions Health Day 2:  WTF?


By Rich Levy, Chief Creative Officer, Klick Health


Today was an unusual day for the healthcare community at the Lions Health Festival of Creativity. As I spoke with creative leaders from around the world, the overarching opinion was: “What was that?”

Rich Levy

There was an audible shock at the number of awards given last night. Only one gold award. Yes, for the first time in years, a Grand Prix was awarded but that didn’t seem to pacify attendees.

I was speaking to the president of one New York agency today while touring the work. “That was the worst thing that could happen to our industry,” he said. “I can’t believe there was no work worthy of recognition.”

Another industry creative director said, “We’re trying to inspire and all we did was knock down. I’m heartbroken.”

And me? Yesterday, I was angry. But then again, I wasn’t in the jury room. And I promised myself never to second-guess the jury.

Today, I went to tour the shortlisted work from beyond healthcare. And I am no longer angry. I looked at the print and design finalists and saw amazing work. I saw work that was better than anything I saw in healthcare. Campaigns from Burger King, Amnesty International, Volkswagen, Fox Network, and an organization named Change the Ref were all breathtaking in their craft and creativity.

I remembered why I stay in Cannes longer than the two days of Lions Health. To be inspired by great work.

So perhaps the reason why there were so few winners is there was so little to choose from. We can do better and we have to do better. We need to have more inspired ideas to inspire more people in the future.

While our industry was thinking WTF, we should have been thinking ‘WTF can I do better?’

And if we all get better, the results will come.

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