Encouraging South Africans to Enter Cannes Lions Health Awards

Winning a Lions Health award is a prestigious honour and, with the global pharmaceuticals market worth US $300bn a year, it is one that South African creatives should be tapping into.
Lions Health 2014 award winner, Lions Health 2015 juror and Executive Creative Director of Boomtown, Andrew MacKenzie, says, “South Africa has always competed admirably on the international awards front. The health sector however paints a slightly different picture. Last year was the first time that Lions Health was introduced and there were less than a handful of conversions from South African agencies.”
More competitiveness overseas
Internationally there is a lot more competitiveness in the advertising health care sector – a dynamic that seems to be lost from a South African perspective. “There is no reason why we should not perform remarkably well in this area, as we are extremely competitive at traditional advertising awards.”
Taking place on 19-20 June 2015, Lions Health is an opportunity for South African creatives to challenge their skills. “An integral understanding of the health care landscape regarding technology for example is vital in developing creative solutions for this sector, so to a degree South Africans have a bit to learn. Internationally there are a lot more health focussed agencies and their primary objectives are to develop solutions for this sector.”
With this in mind, South African competitors can ramp up their performance when it comes to digital creativity. In ‘traditional’ creativity and great solutions, however, he believes that South Africa is right up there with the best of them.
The way forward is a more focussed approach around health care, with creatives realising that there are as many fantastic opportunities in this sector as there are in standard agency environments, he explains. “I think a lot of our best creative talent feel that they can flex far more creative muscle on the mainstream brands and that the health sector does not offer as many opportunities. The rewards around the societal benefits linked to the solutions we deliver for health are however hugely rewarding as there is a far greater impact and benefit beyond sales and finances,” concludes MacKenzie.
Entries for Lions Health close on 27 March 2015.