The Cannes Lions festival just wrapped up, and some very compelling work was on display. Despite being the main storyline since early last year, COVID-19 wasn’t a focus.

Instead, the Pharma Lions award winners and nominees presented many different versions of greatness. Touching animated stories, gaming tournaments, new pieces of technology and humorous animated vignettes about where babies come from mean that the entries inspired a range of emotions.

The winning campaigns seemed to have a common theme, however: focusing on providing unique value to their audiences.

Woojer’s Sick Beats

Area 23 took home the Grand Prix for Use of Technology, teaming up with Woojer to create the ‘Sick Beats Vest’.

The vest can serve as an oscillator for cystic fibrosis patients. A normal oscillator is a vibrating vest that is worn for about an hour each day in order to loosen excess mucus in cystic fibrosis patients’ chests.

Instead of a droning hum, the “Sick Beats” vest uses music as a source of vibration. The pulsations from the musical notes stimulate the vest to vibrate at 40hz—the same frequency that normal oscillators use to function.

Sick Beats genres

Patients can connect their vest to Spotify and choose songs which provide a therapeutic frequency. They can choose from a range of genres, artists, how “hyped” they want their playlist, and share their tunes.

Take a look.

The product is a triumph of creativity, thoughtfulness, and science. Hopefully it will be approved by the FDA for therapeutic applications because it’s one of the most creative ideas in recent memory.

Way to go, Area 23!

Samsung Talk

Another gold, another tech product.

Cheil Worldwide and Samsung won a Gold Lion Non-Regulated Mobile with ‘Samsung Talk’.

Samsung Talk is an app that translates ALS patients’ eye movements into speech. While products like Talk exist, they cost about twenty-five times as much.

In Spain, where the app was launched, 50% of Spanish ALS patients had downloaded it within a week.

The idea owes a lot of its success to a partnership with Fundación Luzón, one of the most active ALS non-profit organizations in Spain. Fundación Luzón served as a consulting party to guide the app’s development so that it can provide the greatest possible benefit.

With audiences seeing more ads than ever, standing out can be tough. But, as Samsung Talk and the Sick Beats vest have shown, providing value is always a tremendous pull.

Obviously, every campaign isn’t going to be carried by a breakthrough like Talk. The final Gold Lion winner is an excellent model for the power of more conventional campaigns.

Teva’s ‘Hairspray’ and Life Effects Blog

It’s not the most revolutionary or razzle-dazzle idea of the top award winners, but Teva’s ‘Hairspray’ campaign is a winner that keeps on winning.

Check it out below.

The ad depicts an elderly man who leaves home and walks into a hair salon, presumably to apply for a job. Upon entry into the chic space in which he seems a stranger, the camera adopts the man’s point of view, revealing a room of skeptical young women.

Skepticism soon turns to approval, though, as the man deftly dresses customer after customer.

It’s clearly not his first rodeo.

Later, the man returns home and reveals that his skill at dressing hair comes from his experience dressing his wife’s hair. A quick cut revels her shaky hands which are likely due to a chronic condition that makes the task impossible for her.

The video taps into a situation that one in five Americans and nearly half of Europeans can relate to: providing care for a family member with a chronic condition.

The end frame provides a resource on daily living for these audiences: the Life Effects blog.

Now two years old, the Life Effects blog was originally part of a Teva rebrand. It provides tips and advice for patients and caregivers whose lives are affected by chronic diseases. Depression, asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular disease are just a few of the conditions covered by the blog.

The idea keeps getting stronger with age.

LifeEffects.Teva now earns thousands of website sessions per month for searches like “asthma hacks”, “music for depression”, and “migraine increased appetite”.

LifeEffects.Teva desktop US organic traffic

Life Effects’ US desktop traffic is estimated above. The combination of this estimate and the mobile estimate add up to about 3,000 search engine users per month in the US—likely more.

Contributors put out useful content about a range of conditions, allowing those affected by common chronic conditions to benefit from the site.

Without a doubt, the blog benefits both patients and the Teva brand. But Teva’s marketing team also benefits.

Metrics regarding the blog’s traffic, its most frequented pages, the content generates the most engagement, and countless other insights can be mined, making the browsing data from the site a sort of built-in focus group.

The campaign and blog provide a simple, mutually beneficial offering. We’ve discussed the benefits of offering value in this way in the past, and ‘Hairspray’ provides a classic example of using this strategy.

Tell Us About Your Favorite Campaigns

With the two-year gap in judgment, there were a lot of potential winners on the table.

Insmed’s ‘Unbreakable’ and Edwards Lifesciences’ ‘Storks’ displayed mastery of evocative animation, while Genentech’s sponsorship of the video game tournament ‘Bloodless Battle’ brought pharma to a hip new arena by partnering with Twitch.

And, of course, Genea’s whacky and hilarious ‘Where Babies Come From’ was certainly memorable in its own right. Let us know your favorite by leaving a comment below, and subscribe to our blog for routine healthcare and pharma content.