Is it me, or is Cannes Lions 2019 the year for Health & Wellbeing
No, this is not a personal training blog. We are not about to join the leather-skinned octogenarians jogging along the Croisette. But it seems 2019 could be a stellar year for health and wellbeing - over 60% of the Innovations + Glass Lions shortlists targeting healthcare issues:
As a director, I’m relatively new to H+W, having hit the jackpot in 2018 with Havas Lynx’s The Attack. Hailed as a ‘new cinematic genre in pharma comms” the film went on to win numerous awards including Clio Health. Will this year’s entrant - The Engine – be victorious and who are the front runners for the 2019 Cannes Lions?
Even though, back in 2018 I said “be afraid, be very afraid”, I just can’t keep away from La Mer. So when my colleagues at Maker and Cannes Healthcare agency of the year came calling I forgot the tears and heartbreak of life on the open ocean and started singing… “Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain. For we've received orders for to sail back to Boston. And so never more shall we see you again.”
Unlike Quinn, this time, we had a bigger boat. The bad news, it was a Trawler. For you who’ve never set foot on Brixham’s most famous export imagine the bastard child of Water World and Mad Max Beyond the Thunder Dome. Only Master Blaster would love this beast. There are more lethal weapons in the hold of this ship than the basement of John Wick’s house.
Th Engine made The Attack look like a rehearsal: we had to be at sea, at night, in bad weather, with a limited crew, and a drone. Just pick any of the words in that last sentence and you’ve got a disaster waiting to happen. But that’s the thing about shooting for the world of Health and Wellbeing - the shoot is the easy part. Here’s my guide to winning in a world of rules and regulations:
No1: Listen, listen and then listen again
Not all briefs are created equal. If you thought scripts take time to approve, you’ve ain’t seen nothing yet. In the health industry, before you see a single word, there’s been A LOT of conversations. As a director you have to listen to everybody. There’s a lot of detail. For those directors who work on the auteur rule of a “single vision”, health is not for you.
N2: Learn to be patient.
As a surfer I know the meaning of patience. I’ve sat in cold grey car parks for days waiting for a few lines of corduroy. Working in health and wellbeing needs patience and you need to be ready to accept changes because, like the ocean, it’s going to go off!
N3: Work within the budget.
In 2019 there are no reshoots. Whether swimming with sharks or mounting killer cranes it’s all about bringing home the catch on time and on budget. Plan, plan and plan again.
N4: Be Brave
Committees don’t rally the troops. Sometimes you have to ignore the detail and look at the bigger picture. You need to listen, but also learn the difference between politics and detail. If you follow the shoal you could end up in the shallows, or worst still, in a Brexit style deadlock.
N5: Remember your crew
As the mighty Quinn found out, you need a crew. A good production company, a great agency and a strong thoughtful creative director. If everyone isn’t working together the doubts will set in and you’re be walking the auteur gangplank with not even a parrot for support.
So who will win? Check out some of this year’s great entrants to see what’s blowing in the breeze:
And if you’re in town next week give me a shout – I’ll be the one jogging with the octogenarians or swimming with sharks, depending on the weather or the Lion’s roar…