Are healthcare marketers the creative “poor cousins” to others toiling in the advertising world?
An interesting take on the topic is presented by Kathy Delaney in a recent Ad Age essay.
“It’s no secret that health and wellness marketing have been underrepresented in our industry’s award shows,” Delaney writes. “Despite the fact that health and wellness are no longer limited to healthcare plans and pharmaceuticals — our category now supports healthier food options at chain restaurants, mattress brands committed to improving the quality of our sleep, and yoga studios promoting a healthy mind and body — we are still often marginalized as a niche category responsible for less creative work.”
Delaney, who is global chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness and jury president of Cannes Lions Health, thinks the upcoming inaugural Cannes Lions Health festival, which celebrates creative communications in healthcare and wellness, will “shine a light on the important and innovative work being done in our category.”
DeIaney believes quality healthcare advertising addresses issues and concerns that affect billions of consumers who are increasingly focused on health and wellness.
“I have worked in all areas of advertising in my career and I can’t imagine another category that has more of an impact on the lives of consumers than health and wellness,” Delaney says. “We market around the human condition with a sense of purpose, knowing that our work can result in something meaningful for consumers today who have never been more proactive and focused on their health and well being.”
Delaney cites the recent Nielsen Health and Wellness survey which found that more than 70 percent of Americans are trying to become healthier or maintain their current health. She believes Apple’s new iOS 8 Healthbook and Healthkit “prove that wellness is a doctrine being embraced by millions.”
Delaney will be one of the jury of judges tasked with scoring the latest in healthcare advertising. In the essay, she describes five criteria that will inform her judgments, including innovative engagement via digital, strategic use of consumer insights, transparency and authenticity, social media usage, and last, but not least, sense of purpose.
On that last criteria, Delaney says, “Is there a sense of purpose in the campaign and did these marketing campaigns meet their obligation to the consumer? Our job as health and wellness marketers is to assist the consumer’s desire for a more healthy life. Whether or not a marketing plan helps drive positive action will be one of the main lens through which we will judge the entries.”
Delaney hopes that her work will prove that “around the world our field is producing work that is as innovative and engaging as anything out there. I am excited to see what the health and wellness global community has to offer.”
The whole essay is well worth the read. In fact, it may be just what the doctored ordered.
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