Leading healthcare communications agency, Havas Lynx, has celebrated an unprecedented number of big wins at the prestigious Pharmaceutical Marketing Awards (PM Society Awards). The Manchester based agency collected a total of five golds, four of which were won for its innovative “Change the face of HIV” campaign for Viiv healthcare. This year’s awards sweep of gold, silver and bronze takes the agencies total to an incredible 36 PM Society wins in the past six years.
Competition this year was tougher than ever, with entries from a total of 51 agencies and 83 in-house creative teams. Havas Lynx’s record-breaking ten accolades were achieved in recognition of its innovative work across a variety of therapy areas and categories.
The PM Society Awards are widely regarded amongst the most esteemed in the pharmaceutical healthcare sector, and is the biggest annual gathering in the industry. They are unique among healthcare creative awards in that they include categories judged by healthcare professionals – the targets of the work (TARGET) – as well as a creative panel from the industry (CRAFT).
Havas Lynx’s gold awards comprised of:
Best primary care advertisement – Change the face of HIV for Viiv healthcare (TARGET)
Best advertisement campaign – Change the face of HIV for Viiv healthcare (CRAFT)
Disease awareness – Sun safety on site for HSS Hire supported by Cancer Research UK (CRAFT)
Best Primary Care Campaign – Change the face of HIV for Viiv healthcare (CRAFT)
Best Film – Change the face of HIV for Viiv healthcare (CRAFT)
Dave Hunt, Havas Lynx CEO, said:
“We’re incredibly proud to have smashed our own awards record and been recognised at the PM Society Awards, despite incredibly tough competition.
“Our strategy to invest heavily in our creative capabilities over the past few years has really paid dividends and we now have a studio team of over 75, and a total of eight hugely talented Creative Directors. This month we’re delighted to be welcoming Tim Jones to the team, a truly stand-out, multi-award winning Creative Director, who brings with him a wealth of experience in consumer and HCP campaigns.
“As an agency we are constantly evolving, and we are dedicated to creating profound work that has real impact. These awards are recognition of that and testament to our hard work. It’s real a privilege to work closely with our clients, whose ground-breaking work inspires us on a daily basis.”
Informed by experience and driven by innovation, the people of Havas Lynx are agents of the next era in health.
Dedicated to helping clients connect consumers, professionals and brands with information, services, and influences to drive new relationships and better outcomes. Comprised of what was formerly known as Euro RSCG Life 4D and Creative Lynx, Havas Lynx has offices in New York, Manchester and London. A member of the Havas Health global network.
We believe that the future is bright, that health will improve and that progressive pharma will be successful. Led by emerging science, amplified by technology and powered by engaged patients.
The scale and impact of progress, will be at the discretion of a new breed of physician, the millennial HCP (mHCP). Digitally native, their number increases year-on-year.
Of course, they exhibit many of the traits of their predecessors; knowledge, empathy, ambition. We’re comfortable with the healthcare professional in them. But what about this other side – the millennial? What does it mean when your homework group included Google and Wikipedia? When you spent 14 months of your medical education online? And when you haven’t written by hand for more than a month?
Millennials are visual. They choose SnapChat, YouTube and Instagram. 72% of them use emojis to communicate their emotions – no language has ever grown more quickly.
Millennials embrace progress. 95% make positive associations with the word ‘change’. Their digital tools of choice are in a constant state of beta, as they look to optimise their digital being.
Millennials demand more. They believe big business should take as much responsibility as the government. And, as illustrated by the UK Government and Junior Doctor dispute, they believe in collective power.
It would be wrong to define this generation by their birth certificates, and to suggest that this population only includes those born after 1980. Instead, it is a generation that was forged in the last two decades as its members immersed themselves in a new world. Their habits and personalities have evolved with the technology around them. Put simply, they are digital.
In this world, insight, creativity and design are more important than ever. CREATIVE agencies have a critical role to play, aiding and supporting mHCPs to leverage the science and technology at their disposal.
Scientific knowledge has been, and always will be, the critical capability of physicians. The shift, is in their expertise and confidence with technology. And our opportunity is to recognise these new skills, supporting mHCPs in improving outcomes.
Much of the industry boasts an exciting pipeline of products. As we look to build these brands and partner with healthcare professionals, let’s not forget the millennial within them 😉
To find out more about the impact of the millennial generation on healthcare, sign up for the new white paper, podcast, and YouTube series from Havas Lynx at www.m-hcp.com
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. State Health Facts 2015. http://kaiserf.am/1VfEncN (Accessed May 2016)
Ofcom. Media Use and Attitudes Report 2015 http://bit.ly/1E3fFyO (Accessed May 2016)
Docmail. The death of handwriting. 2012 http://bit.ly/1srFRoG (Accessed May 2016)
Bangor University & Talk Talk Mobile. Linguistics Research. 2015. http://bit.ly/1HseRrW (Accessed May 2016)
Pepsi Optimism Project. 2008. http://bit.ly/1R6meY1 (Accessed May 2016)
The impact of the millennial healthcare professional on our world.
Millennials are criticised as narcissistic, entitled and technology-obsessed, but our new campaign shows millennial healthcare professionals – mHCPs – in a different light. They have certainly grown up in a digital and interactive world, but have a strong social conscience, are entrepreneurial and are adept at communicating, collaborating and adapting to the world as they find it.
Through a series of in-depth interviews with medical students, academics, innovators, physicians, authors and patients from around the world, Generation Now identifies a new & inspired generation of healthcare professionals. It is a generation with different attitudes and ambitions to their predecessors, and it is a generation who will drive our industry forward and embrace innovation to offer improved outcomes for all.
In our new campaign, we outline key considerations for communicating and collaborating with this new generation, outlining how we can create effective healthcare campaigns that truly make a difference.
For more information on our YouTube & Podcast series, and our White Paper visit www.m-hcp.com
Havas Lynx, formerly Creative Lynx, celebrates its 30th anniversary this May. Of all its achievements, I believe the greatest is just that – 30 years of great people, producing great ideas that have great outcomes.
Whilst the whole world has changed, and changed again, Havas Lynx has remained a valuable, expert and trusted partner to its many clients & friends. I believe in culture, I believe in values and I believe in people, and certainly Havas Lynx is blessed with the very best of these, but in addition, I believe thatsustained success requires evolution and it requires balance.
“Havas Lynx are not just preparing for the future, they are creating it” is undoubtedly my favourite endorsement in 2015, from a very generous PME Judge.
Our reputation was forged upon our prowess in digital, and whilst this remains at our heart, our success since joining Havas is based on our scientific, strategic and creative development. And whilst we have been maturing, so too has digital. Of course, we are all aware of how it has changed our lifestyle, our behaviours and our society. But behind the agency curtain, there has been an equally significant shift – digital is no longer the “Dark Arts”, it is no longer the playground of engineers. It is now about insight, ideas, innovation. And not the sort that requires code, but the exciting sort that requires imagination. The democratization of technology is another catalyst for change at Havas Lynx, and one that we are embracing as we enter 2016.
There is always a risk that you can stretch too far, ask too much of yourself & those around you, perhaps try that little bit too hard. In 2015 we were named Communiqué Communications Consultancy of the Year, but if we are honest at times we could have done a little less, a little better. You can always squeeze in one more opportunity, but should you? All agencies will be beaten, sacked & left by their loved ones, but to what extent will often be dictated by balance. Our priorities in 2016 will be our team, our standards and our existing partners. Building upon the #LXAcademy, and by combining our expertise in science, strategy, creativity & technology, this year we will deliver our best work yet.
But above all, I think we should enjoy 2016. We work in a great industry, alongside great people, that do great things. I’ve enjoyed Christmas, spending time with the family and re-charging the batteries, but I’m excited to be back doing what I do best, and not nearly enough people can say that – here’s to another good year.
Firstly, I do care, and perhaps should be less flippant. However, commentating on the next pioneering technology is a really good excuse to ignore our deficiencies with the current tools at our disposal. I’d argue that we already have the technology necessary to build meaningful relationships, and our focus should be on maximising these.
Fully leveraging new technology during its infancy is unlikely. In the gaming world, it typically takes 12-18 months for engineers to fully utilise the power of the hardware offered by the latest generation of console. It’s okay for us to take our time, assuming we are making progress, building expertise and confidence. If we are getting closer to adopting the technology and enhancing the breadth of our communication platform – that’s okay. Progress doesn’t always have to be quick, but it should still be progress. Ask Yahoo, MySpace and Blackberry if they’d have sacrificed being first to be the best.
And, while we’re exploring what we already have, let’s play with what the future holds. I’ve always considered myself to be curious, and therefore quick to try the latest technology. Today, at Havas Lynx, I’m surrounded by millennials. To my astonishment, they are more demanding than me and more impatient than me – no mean feat. They are also much more agile in their take-up of technology. Aligned with experience, it is meaningful innovation beset on making a difference.
Do we need more technology? Or do we need to be better at using it? I’d argue that, if we ensure the latter, the former will bring more value.
For both Kenyans, success depends upon a multitude of elements coming together and working in their favour. Nutrition, training schedules, rest and recovery, and mental preparation must all be spot on. Coaches, dietitians, physiotherapists, and psychologists must all be pulling in the right direction. But what if one element isn’t functioning as it should; what if Kimetto comes to the line worried that his diet’s not been right, or if Kipsang feels his head coach has been off his game? It wouldn’t stop either starting the race, but they’d have niggling doubts running through their minds about how well they could perform.
It’s the same in anything we undertake; from learning to play the piano, to recovering from a chronic condition. Every failing element creates doubt, a doubt that can grow to dent faith in success. A patient who undergoes yet another unsuccessful treatment change is going to lose faith in their doctor, the value of adhering, and perhaps their recovery altogether.
Positive customer experience is considered golden across all consumer-based sectors; whether you’re booking a hotel room or looking for an insurance quote, every element you encounter should run like clockwork, making the road to success as seamless and hitch-free as possible. It’s no coincidence that, with digital so central to modern day lives, Barclays launched their Digital Eagles initiative to improve digital literacy amongst young and old. A customer who better understands how to use the platforms Barclays operates within, is of course, more likely to have a positive customer experience when engaging with them.
Consumer brands invest in customer experience because if they don’t, there are a million other places their customers can go. The situation isn’t quite the same in healthcare, but the implications are no less significant. From a commercial standpoint, a professional who, from their very first interaction with a representative, feels informed and in control is more likely to prescribe and re-prescribe a treatment (and more generally have a positive opinion of a brand). And from an ethical perspective, a patient given the tools to take charge, not just of their treatment, but also of their life in general, is more likely to achieve a better outcome.
At Havas Lynx, we’ve recently been discussing the importance of taking a more holistic view to patient experience in order to achieve treatment success. As such, we’re pleased to be taking part in Create Health’s Customer Experience In Health Summit, held on 12th May in London. The Summit brings together the brightest and most inspiring leaders in customer experience from inside and outside of healthcare, with experts from GSK, Merck Serono and Pfizer talking alongside the best from RBS, Travelodge, AXA and many more. We’ve always really enjoyed working with the Create Health team; they have a knack of creating a relaxed atmosphere that opens people up to genuine debate and discussion. Last year, those of us that attended their event were imbued with ideas and enthusiasm. This year, our very own Rob Fuller and Claire Knapp will be delivering a talk, but whether you listen to them or any of the other speakers, you’re bound to stumble across some enlightening insights.
For more on the power of patient engagement and holistic support, read our latest white paper, Smiles That Save Lives
We’re pleased to be able to offer Havas Lynx clients a 75% discount off the normal ticket price for CXIH 2015. Just use the promotional code ‘havas’ when you come to pay.
Speak when spoken to, remember your please & thank-yous, and listen to others – all important lessons I’m determined to teach my son, Hudson. They are essential to being a well-rounded member of society and equally essential in Pharma’s pursuit of social media acceptance.
We talk A LOT about governance, rules of engagement and process. For me this is the method and internal mechanics, it’s of our concern and not our customers. Of far more importance to me is our product, their experience, which is determined by our behaviour & conduct. There’s little point in engaging in social if it does not help the community, and complement our commercial objectives. If we compromise our personality, we compromise our campaign.
Typically our behaviour is weighed down by bureaucracy; it is uptight, awkward & unresponsive. It lacks critical speed & authenticity. It can feel like a conversation with a committee, most likely because it is. Newspaper Editors the world over take responsibility for their publications. It allows them to publish breaking news, competing with their rivals, meeting the needs of their customers. The consensus is that Pharma cannot be so frivolous, the risks are too great. True, if we are publishing product related information, not true if we are engaging with a community relating to disease awareness. Of course there will be points when we can’t comment, but these should not compromise the many meaningful interactions we can have.
Of course governance cannot be underestimated, but it should be guidelines & not a rule book. It should inspire, not suffocate our interactions. And it must be built on a brand personality & values, a global tone for all markets & platforms.
By trusting intelligent individuals to take responsibility, thus replacing response by committee with a more human approach to social media, we too can become a well-rounded member of society.
Creativity, More Important Than Ever by David Hunt
You can have a strong brand & commitment to fulfil it. You can have the necessary culture to respond in a real fashion. You can have a relevant, quality, dynamic content strategy. And most importantly, you can share a genuine ambition with your community. But you can still, and most likely will, fail in social media.
In a world that besieges individuals with content, news & entertainment across all manner of devices & channels, standing-out from the crowd is more important than ever. Pharma has spent so long wrestling with social, that when we finally do arrive, we expect that they will come. The world has not been waiting. The world is oblivious to our fraught self-interrogation. That is not to say, we can’t add significant value to our respective communities, it is just that we need to earn the right to be socially significant. Turning-up, standing on the periphery, is not enough.
In my opinion, you need an idea that grabs attention and acts as a catalyst for your social campaign. It requires insight into the community, imagination to be unique, the potential to be valuable & engaging, but it also requires appreciation of social dynamics. It is not an advert, but it is creative. It is an idea that drives participation & interaction, from incremental approval & shares, to endorsement & actions. It takes great talent, with great ideas to unlock the great social opportunity.
In South America we have seen the Colombian League Against Cancer “Cancer Tweets”campaign demonstrating the creative opportunity social media represents.
Great ideas that leverage the social opportunity are still the exception in healthcare. I’m excited to work with clients and colleagues with the imagination and bravery to seize the initiative and make a difference.
“Content is King” is a great expression; catchy, weighty, easy. It’s also misleading, absent of substance, and wrong on many levels. As of January 2014, the Internet has 861,379,0001 websites, or if you prefer Google has indexed 200 Terabytes of data2 which is just 0.004% of the total Internet. Either way, there is no shortage of content. There is however an appetite for relevant, topical, bespoke content delivered as part of an expert brand strategy – the social world requires brain not brawn.
Content is a form of advertisement, albeit positioned as a more sophisticated strategy. The objective remains to elicit an emotion that drives an action. However, despite this universal truth, the world has changed. It is more connected, more social, and ultimately more judgemental. It is no longer enough to tell stories; we need to craft a collaborative narrative. Being instant lacks longevity and durability. Producing content without emotion and relevance dilutes and devalues brands. Today, more than ever, the market requires insight, imagination and innovation. Our Havas colleagues in Australia produced what I consider to be the best social campaign in healthcare: The world’s most powerful arm.
Great agencies are more, not less, critical to the brand building process. So too is a genuine brand. We can no longer manufacture our image, we can no longer limit the format of our customer interactions, we are exposed, open, and unintentionally honest. A strong authentic brand personality is essential. It must represent the values of a business and be aligned to the personality of their customers. Fonts, colours and high-gloss photographs, pale-away versus behaviour and conduct. Social success today relies more than ever on the principles of brand development.
The scale of the Internet is infinite, standing out from the crowd is harder than ever, unless of course you join the crowd. Become more than just an isolated part. Participate in something greater. Unite your community through a shared ambition. Do more. Social success is inextricably linked to the power of the collective to make a difference; it requires more than a content production line.
Dr Nick Broughton is Medical Director of HAVAS LYNX Medical and has a strong interest in the ethics of business and compliance. Nick tries to explore the good and not so good in an industry he cares about. Below he writes about narrative education.
Narrative education: The power of storytelling, the importance of the individual and the start of a radical shift in pharma, by Dr Nick Broughton.
Boston 2013 and a bunch of agency types collect in a rather cramped and faintly dismal hotel function room for an afternoon of whatever it was the meeting agenda said. Into this arena of postprandial apathy steps Dr Rita Charon foremost exponent of narrative medicine and it appears she has forgotten her slides. Nothing appears on the screen behind her save for an artistic abstract featuring, as I recall, purple lines and black rectangles.
With nothing on the screen to stimulate the senses, a confused audience turns its attention to the quietly spoken senior gentlewoman occupying stage front. The lady is talking, clearly though not loudly, and with little, if anything, that could be described as so vigorous as a gesticulation. All I could think (given the piscatorial attention span of the average agency executive) was that I hoped the gags were good. There were no gags.
Dr Charon told stories. Individual patient stories recounted with depth of feeling and detail no one had witnessed before and, unexpectedly, the audience was rapt. These weren’t case studies as beloved by clinicians (49 year old man with three year history of x, had lab results y so I gave treatment z) or patient pictures (photo of healthy looking smiley person with something chronic and life-shortening) as beloved by the more naïve end of the pharma marketing community. These were stories that put disease, healthcare and treatment in their proper place within the context of individual human lives: narrative medicine.
The point here is that it is impossible to understand the impact of an illness on an individual without understanding the individual’s story. The effect on a person of being diagnosed as HIV positive is quite different depending on their marital status, their age, their culture and, most significantly, a myriad of factors particular to them. This is the ‘data’ you need in order to act for that individual; this is the patient story. The art of the good doctor is to understand the narrative so as to be able to understand the disease and target therapy appropriately. Good medicine is narrative medicine, but narrative medicine is also, I would propose, good education. Dr Charon in describing the narrative of a patient with a rare disease indelibly imprinted the memory of its signs, symptoms, treatment and outcome in the memories of one hundred people who, up to that time, had lived in happy ignorance of any such disease.
Yes, stories are powerful but it’s really a bit glib to leave it at that. Storytelling, story appreciation and story learning are hard wired into our brains. We humans consume and repeat stories rapaciously all across our lives. From gossip down the pub, to jokes, to news stories we frankly can’t get enough. We absorb stories to the extent that we can completely suspend reality in pursuit of story enjoyment. When you turn on Coronation Street you (probably) know it’s not real, it’s being displayed on a flat screen for one thing, it’s shot in a studio, the actors appear in the papers, but none of this interferes with your appreciation of the story. It gets more bizarre still – theatre goers watching Shrek (the stage version naturally) rapidly forget their own presence when sat in rows in front of the acting ranks to absorb a story about an eight foot ogre. The truth of the story does not impact their appreciation or indeed their memory of it, and that latter fact is the crux of the medical educational opportunity that good storytelling represents.
The obvious opportunity in storytelling is to educate about disease, treatment and outcomes through the prism of individual patient stories as evidenced by Dr Charon. Good case studies told well on the congress stage can get part way there as they recount the triumphs and tragedies of a diagnostic conundrum, but they lack the medically irrelevant human details they need to make them good stories. Good storytelling needs that characterisation to make you care about the outcome and a good plot to surprise and dismay you along the way. Us humans like a structure to our stories, a set-up, a series of crunch points, a climax, a resolution. If you are Quentin Tarantino you might get away with mucking with plot structure but lesser mortals shouldn’t bother.
A good patient narrative, in effect an anecdote, is a Trojan horse for knowledge that our brains are unlikely ever to be suspicious of, but we must avoid confusion with anecdotal evidence. Patient stories should represent tested evidence and medical fact or give pertinent lessons on the unusual and be clearly labelled as such. This missive is not a plea for Daily Mail medicine.
Of course, such thoughts could be seen as a bit drippy in the hard EBM world we live in today; narrative education as I’m describing here is hardly mainstream. What’s wrong with explaining medical matters in blocks of prose with umpteen graphs and a slug of stats? What do you mean you can’t remember it? Thing is though, underneath all the bluster your top KOL/external expert/therapy area expert (the names vary – the gist is the same) is just the same story loving beast as the rest of us even where medicine is concerned. Telling the tale of your new medicine’s development, the characters, the failures, the blinding insights and the dumb mistakes can be an intriguing cocktail if told well. It has the useful spin off that for many a HCP it provides the first realisation that there are one or two steps for pharma before selling a drug.
Training on storytelling recently I got into in-depth discussion of whether storytelling could ever impact on that most sacred of objects, the clinical paper. Do they have to be quite so dull and unmemorable? I know we all (well ‘piscatorians’ at least) read the abstract and only carry on if there is something positive but it still seems like a wasted opportunity.
Wouldn’t it be cool if you wanted to pick up a clinical paper for the pleasure of reading the story within it rather than as a necessary drudge to find the interesting bits? More seriously, when reading clinical papers is such hard work is it any wonder we naturally ignore those that hold only negativity and non-significance. There are patient consequences to positive bias as our friend Dr. Goldacre has recently been explaining, but unlike him I suspect the issue is grounded more in human disinterest in the uninteresting than pharma malevolence.
The structure of a story, its characters and plot is one thing, but above all a story needs a storyteller. Stephen Fry I suspect could read a train timetable and keep us fixated. Harry Potter would have passed unnoticed into oblivion if his many exploits were described in an SOP. Execution is critical and herein pharma has created its own demons by spending too long supporting too many mediocre medical story-tellers to speak on its behalf.
Times are a changing and, I suggest, it’s about time. Pharma is equipping itself and its medical teams for a radical shift that will involve it speaking more for itself about the medicines it develops, the research it does, the lives it improves and (yes) the profits it makes. The shift is barely underway and will be painfully slow, but as we break ground let’s not forget the whole flaming point of what we do when we speak for ourselves – the patient and their story.