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Dissecting Lions Health – part 3


Today we’re speaking to Zuleika Burnett, Executive Director – Creative and Innovation at Havas Life Medicom:

AH: What are the side-effects of a festival like Lions Health? 

ZB: Beyond sleeping off the rosé, a fairly common side effect I discovered whilst judging the work this year was the simple realisation that everyone loves a bit of tech! Gadgets and Wearable – everything! We know that virtual reality is the ultimate empathy machine, but the work still needs a great idea behind it. The most effective digital communications somehow work harmoniously with technology rather than drawing attention to it.

AH: What would you say has been the best thing about this year’s festival? 

ZB: For me, the best thing was having the privilege to uncover ‘what the year was, this year’. Panning for the best work and the meaning behind ’Life Changing Creativity’ soon became apparent once we (the Jury) reached the final rounds – it became visceral. It has really been an exceptional year. We set a new creative bar for Health and Wellness; and made it clear that Lions Health should be a showcase for creative health communications, not health gadgets…even smart ones.

AH: And the worst?

ZB: This is Cannes – there is no ‘worst’!

I just love everything about Cannes and what it represents. ​Every minute has been a mini life lesson in what should be possible, and it has been thrilling to share it with diverse, passionate individuals who value what creativity brings. Perhaps the worst thing is not having enough time to do more! Being on the jury is full on (I sat on three Juries (Health and Wellness, Young Lions and Grand Prix for Good) – I felt the responsibility, but the reward comes by being superbly ambitious for the work.


AH: Did you have a favourite winner this year? If so, what was it? 

ZB: One of many favourites is Ogilvy & Mather London’s “Breathless Choir” which claimed the Grand Prix, Pharma and Gold, Health and Wellness. The choir was brought together by Philips as part of an effort to change perceptions of the brand to a health tech organisation that improves people’s lives. The campaign challenges the traditional product feature approach and instead focuses on the individuals, their personal journey and their struggle to push beyond the limitations of the disease. It’s a stunning example of beautifully crafted, cinematic storytelling in the medical devices sector which clearly breaks the mould.​

AH: Did you notice any trends in the type of work that won? (Across both Pharma and Health & Wellness.) 

ZB: With Lions Health honoring work ranging from Poster to PR to Education to Radio, the ceremonies reflect an enormous range of creative disciplines. Both juries looked at over 2500 entries. There was of course the undeniable trend towards tech as a catalyst for creativity. However, the biggest trend we are seeing in consumer health is the mastery of social with campaigns working successfully across multiple channels to create sheer ‘scale’.​ Facebook and the consumer advertising industry now seem inseparable and when used together Google and Facebook were seen to amplify messages beyond what can be achieved with paid media.

AH: What’s your prognosis for the healthcare industry post Lions Health?​

ZB: Every year builds on the previous one and influences the next. I have left feeling inspired by all the great work, the speakers, my awesome fellow judges, and most importantly motivated to keep pushing my agency and clients to do great work. In terms of the work itself, the digital natives will be in control, which means we that we will see more stuff that’s different. For example campaigns that go back to using analogue. Think vinyl LPs, black notebooks and old fashioned print you can hold in your hands. There are some experiences which digital just can’t deliver.

AH: Thanks Zuleika. Looking forward to seeing some great work from your agency next year.