Donna Murphy, Global CEO, Havas Health & You, celebrates a Lion win for the agency and reflects on the trends that dominated the Health and Pharma categories at this year’s Cannes Lions.
What is your favourite Cannes/Havas Café memory?
When Havas Lynx Group won Healthcare Agency of the Year in 2018! The atmosphere and excitement in the Palais when that was announced remains unrivalled in my eyes. All of our folks work so hard and put their heart and soul into launching innovative work that makes a difference to the lives of patients and consumers every single day and to have it recognised at Cannes was so special.
What will you miss the most about the festival?
Cannes is a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues and clients from across the globe and for such a wonderful occasion – to celebrate the highest level of creativity and innovation in our industry. I will miss that connection this year for sure. I always come away from Cannes feeling so inspired by the work. Cannes Lions has done such a wonderful job with this year’s virtual programming, but I will, of course, miss the sun in the South of France and the fun that goes hand-in-hand with the festival each year.
It’s been a successful festival for HH&Y so far, with a Silver Lion for HH&Y São Paulo on Monday! Why do you think the work had such an impact on the jury?
We are so very proud of our team in São Paulo for this incredible work. It thoroughly deserves its recognition at Cannes Lions. In Brazil, 227,000 patients die from preventable adverse events annually, which inspired Laura Florence (Executive Creative Director, HH&Y São Paulo) and her team to develop IDverse, a universal patient safety identification system that will help healthcare professionals save lives through easy-to-use symbols. These symbols reflect conditions like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and asthma, but also life-threatening allergies, and are being utilised, not only on hospital records, but also on ID bracelets, health cards, and even tattoos. This project wasn’t just a campaign – it was the inspired development and long-term implementation of a new protocol which will save people’s lives, and that is why the jury felt such a connection to it. Congratulations to Laura and everyone involved in this win!
Which trends have been dominating at Cannes, and within the Pharma/Health & Wellness categories?
From what I’ve seen from the winners so far, within our own categories and beyond, is that winning work is centred around brands with purpose. Our work for brands can no longer be just a flash in the pan campaign, it must reflect action and a commitment to change. We need to use our creativity to build brands that truly impact the planet, society, and in our case patients and HCPs, in a positive way.
Much of the work that picked up Grand Prix and Gold Lions within the Pharma category this year, paired data and technology with powerful storytelling and content (including esports gaming tournaments on Twitch and music responsive vests) to help improve the lives and experiences of patients living with illnesses like cystic fibrosis and hemophilia. We’re thrilled to have been awarded a Silver Lion this year and will leave Cannes Lions inspired by the ways in which we can continue changing people’s lives through human purpose.
HH&Y and Vivendi have developed keynotes for this year’s festival, can you tell us a little bit about the films?
We’ve had the honour of developing two keynote documentaries for this year’s festival that truly reflect Havas Health & You, our recent repositioning, and the human purpose at our core. I am especially excited about The Healing Power of Story, which delves into the impact storytelling has on patients, and how health brands can begin to source and build content that places lived patient experiences and powerful storytelling at its centre.
The film draws from thought leaders from across Vivendi and Havas Health & You and features powerful storytellers, including our own Matt Eagles and Josh Garcia, a survivor of 2016’s Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. I’m very proud of all our teams who helped produce these keynotes, which have already received a great reaction at the festival.
Why is Cannes so important to our industry?
I always leave the festival so inspired by the creativity and brilliance of our industry and awestruck by the ways we can use our talent to truly change the world. Cannes is an opportunity to connect with our colleagues, friends, and clients from around the globe, something we will desperately look forward to next year after what feels like a decade of Zooms!