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Day 2 in Cannes

by Hugh Fitzhardinge, 12 June 2014

My plans for a twilight dip in the Mediterranean outside my hotel room were in tatters when I noticed it was pitch black as I emerged from behind the barricades after 12 hours of judging.

This jury is serious. Instead of spending our lunchtime talking about the food and wine and the wonders of the region, we spoke about the amazing things we could do in healthcare communications. Our Jury Chairman, Jeremy Perrott, mentioned that next year he would like to invite a patient like Michael J Fox to come along to Cannes to talk about living with Parkinson’s.

The conversation amongst the judges is refreshing because we all know the cynics have traditionally seen healthcare creative as being a bit, well… uncool. And it is true that a lot of healthcare work has been weak and predictable. But so has a lot of work for financial services brands. And supermarket products. And the rest. But after spending a day with some of the sharpest minds in the industry I’m convinced that there is momentum behind the current shift in attitude. The new approach to creativity in our business.

Now is the most exciting time to be working in healthcare. Particularly with new technology and the variety of digital platforms being embraced by healthcare clients. We get to work on briefs that are truly life changing and when done well, we compete with the best work in any category. It seems this jury is determined to dig and dig until they find the cream of the healthcare crop. The winners will deserve their accolades.

And as I head off for another day of looking at award entries from the far flung reaches of the world, I notice there’s a bit of a spring in my step. If we’re done by sunset, maybe I’ll even make that fantasy plunge into the Mediterranean.

— Hugh Fitzhardinge, Creative Director at Ward6


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