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Health innovation takes centre stage at Cannes Lions

Attila Cansun - P&G HEALTH
Attila Cansun - P&G HEALTH
By Damon Embling
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The 66th annual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity has kicked off on the French Riviera, with health innovation among the big issues sparking debate.


The 66th annual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity has kicked off on the French Riviera, with health innovation among the big issues sparking debate.

The healthcare sector is among the world's most lucrative industries and the creatives gathering in Cannes are pulling out all the stops to find fresh ways for brands to target patients and consumers.

Getting personal

One thing they are focused on is shaking up the way audiences have been targeted with general health campaigns and messages, with the intention of making these more personal and relevant to individual profiles.

“We look at all of your preferences," explained Claire Gillis, from WPP Health.

"We say, you are a 20-year-old woman who wants to have a healthier life, and we know that you have tech to support you in the gym, we know that you have things on your mobile phone, so what can we tailor to make sure that you can actually do something about it.”

Wyclef Jean at Cannes

Living a healthier life can mean, for some, giving up smoking. Musician Wyclef Jean has taken to one of the stages at Cannes Lions, sitting alongside a tobacco firm trying to switch from traditional cigarettes to smoke-free products.

“The narrative around smoking hasn’t really changed for decades and now, because of science and technology. it can change," Dr Moira Gilchrist, vice president of Philip Morris International, told Euronews.

“Here in Cannes this week, we’ve got some of the greatest creative minds in the world, we’ve got people who are influential on a global scale, so we think it’s an opportunity to bring our story, bring our messages to those people," she continued.

Wyclef Jean and Dr. Moira Gilchrist

Entertaining healthcare professionals

Brands are also trying to target better those who diagnose and treat us when we’ve got health problems – putting themselves in the shoes of doctors and pharmacists, and instead of just sending data, entertaining them too.

“The simplest example is that if you have a blocked nose, you go to your doctor, you tell your story, what you perceive, how you feel," said Atilla Cansun, of P&G Health.

"The chances of the doctor recognising and relating to your story are much higher if that brand has talked to them.”

The Cannes Lions festival runs until Friday – check out our daily reports.

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