Putting aside the excessive sunshine, free rosé and big boats, what’s really at the heart of the Cannes Festival of Creativity is unearthing amazing work that can invigorate us year in, year out.

Particularly across the Health & Wellness and Pharma Lions, there’s nowhere else in the world where you can mainline enough life-saving creativity in two days to energise you for the year to come while striving for your place on the red carpet.

With only 11 months ‘til the Lions roar once more, here are my favourite spots from this year, across various media.


Wandering through the exhibitions in between talks, it was the apparent simplicity of this poem that caught my eye. To sit with just pen and paper and change the world is an amazing feat – hats off to McCann Bristol and their work for Refuge.

Another powerful example of simplicity came in the form of an initiative for Kwality Milk from McCann Health, awarded Cannes Lions Healthcare Network of the Year 2019. At the heart of this campaign is one very simple idea and the campaign video encapsulates how this can improve the lives of thousands of people when developed cleverly.


“Health Noon Assembly” was one of the campaigns McCann Health’s Global Chief Creative Office, Matt Eastwood, used to show how rewarding working in this industry can be; to be simultaneously impacting the client’s bottom line while improving basic human rights and changing lives for the better. And thus was born a new metric for brands: Return on Doing Good.


With so many of the big awards going to creative solutions involving cutting edge technology it was great to see good old fashioned film standing up as a craft to be reckoned with.

Nisha’s story is one of several films made for Vicks #TouchOfCare, created by Publicis Singapore, that also underlines the fact to be a sustainable brand today you need to be a force for good. Once the brand had hit on their philosophy of ‘Every child deserves the touch of care” they set about chasing rather than creating real and extraordinary stories that recognized real people.

For us, the power of telling authentic stories lies in using our skills as filmmakers and empathetic human beings to work with non-actors and make them feel comfortable in their own film. So it was great to see this film open on the real Nisha. Across the campaign, there is a good balance of featuring real people and dramatizing their stories with actors to help show parts of the story in the past.

While I had caught snippets of Essity’s Viva La Vulva spot over recent months, I finally got a chance to enjoy this music video that celebrates diversity it in its entirety by plugging in to one of the work stations, a great place to soak up all the awards entries.

It was no surprise to see that later that evening it cleaned up at the awards ceremony.


While we had our fingers crossed for our immersive film which was part of an installation shortlisted this year, commissioned by Havas Lynx, it was great to see their Manchester team pick up a coveted Silver in the Pharma/Disease Awareness & Understanding category.

Developed for ViiV Healthcare and in partnership with 13 different UK HIV charities, the film shows a true understanding of the impact of what ‘Undetectable = Untransmittable’ means for those living with HIV, using a range of characters that we want to get to know better.


Keen to fulfil my mentor’s challenge of making it to an offshore party, I happily jumped at the chance to party on the FCB boat. Amidst the hubbub, this book caught my eye – an 850 page tome which took a literal shot to its cover during the making of a film, as part of Illinois Council’s fight against gun violence, created by FCB Chicago. The book that stopped a bullet was one of several winners that contributed to FCB’s success in reaching second place as Healthcare Agency of the Year.

Also part of the FCB network, Area 23 won Gold with this amazing use of animation. The campaign “One Word”, made for The Learning Corp’s newest app “Constant Therapy”, was brought to life to assist trauma patients who have suffered a brain injury.

And finally, just before my own presentation I caught another great insight into new ways of connecting with audiences via 21 grams’s campaign to help heamophilia sufferers. By creating a 6 part entertainment series dedicated to that community it was great to see bold clients experimenting with pure entertainment as a way to cut through.

Taking to the stage alongside Tom Richards, Chief Creative Officer at Havas Lynx and Kyriakos Konstantinidis, Global Strategy Director at AstraZeneca to go behind the scenes of last year’s winner, The Attack, it was great to see the audience found inspiration in our work. Make work that inspires and we’ll see you on the red carpet!