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The Transformative Impact of Creativity on Healthcare


Energy BBDO’s Josh Gross and Bayer’s Patricia Corsi discuss why healthcare brands should be embracing creativity and bold ideas

The Transformative Impact of Creativity on Healthcare

Reflecting on creativity’s role in the healthcare sector after this month’s World Health Day, Patricia Corsi, chief marketing and IT officer of Bayer, consumer health, and Josh Gross, chief creative officer at Energy BBDO sat down to examine the increasing influence that healthcare has in our everyday lives, and why healthcare brands should be seizing this opportunity to make a cultural impact. 

Bayer is a German multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company that is currently one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. According to these two healthcare marketing experts (sharing their experiences from their respective brand and agency perspectives), healthcare is playing a larger and larger role in our everyday lives, thanks to technological advances and greater access to more data. Penning this thought piece together for LBB, they share how creatives have caught onto this phenomenon and show what the creative partnership between Bayer and BBDO has already accomplished.

Regardless of health conditions or age, we’re thinking about our health more often. In the meantime, we have more control over how we care for ourselves, and we have more access to the science behind it all – whether we care to understand it or not. 

The creative industry has certainly taken notice. There’s been an explosion of creativity in healthcare communications. And there is no sign of this slowing down, as it is predicted that the US advertising market will reach $28 Billion dollars by 2027. “There’s never been a better time for creativity in healthcare. In fact, I think healthcare has the potential to become the most creative category within our industry in the next 10 years,” says Josh.

But one key challenge still remains: the inherent complexity of both our science and the category that we operate within.

While the outcomes that our products drive towards remain simple, communicating the power of these products can present a challenge for many marketers. This is amplified when you consider how second nature the ‘science’ becomes to individuals within a healthcare organisation. Our job has always been, and will always be, to make the complex simple for people. Patricia reiterates, “We must explain our ideas in a way that is reasonable for those that don’t have a Ph.D in Chemistry.'' 

Our ultimate goal is to build brands that have a meaningful place in people’s lives. Brands [that] consumers trust, understand and care about. 

Creativity is the only way to achieve this. It’s how we get people to notice us. It’s how we get them to care. And, if we do our jobs right, it’s what changes behaviour and creates culture. It makes meaning out of science. 

This is why Bayer has placed a deep focus on creativity across the marketing organisation - including the establishment of the Bayer Creative Council, which includes members from Google, Progressive Insurance, Danone, EnergyBBDO, and other leading companies. Or ‘Creatives Unleashed’, an initiative championed by Patricia when she joined Bayer to encourage agencies to come up with the most creative ideas without the constraints of a brief. [This was] in addition to the focused commitment to digital and activating on the platforms where people are living their lives every day.

This focus on creativity comes to life in the work - for example, ‘Tiny Pockets’ is an initiative in Brazil where Bayer Aspirin partnered with denim brands to reimagine that weird little pocket we all have in our jeans as a place to carry Aspirin. Or ‘Workstipation’, a post-pandemic digital campaign for MiraLAX that advocated for better workplace bathroom conditions as people were leaving the comfort of working from home to return to the office.

Or ‘DiversiTree’, an initiative by Claritin to help allergy sufferers by planting more pollen-free female trees, righting the botanical imbalance that currently exists between female trees and their pollen-producing male counterparts in the US.

These ideas aren’t just ads, they’re acts. They blend powerful insights with culture to bring the science behind the product into peoples’ lives in a way that’s simple, unexpected and creatively audacious. 

Now is the time for creative audacity. Patricia says, “Bold ideas tend to be the ones where you can see uncomfortable faces within the crowd, and this should be embraced. I like disruptive, challenging ideas, to have ’aha!’ moments - they are the ones that will stick in my mind, the ones I will talk about with my family and friends, they are the ones that live much longer than their air time, and have a much deeper impact on society at large.” 

Healthcare marketers need to push the boundaries of what is possible in the category. It might feel risky, especially in today’s uncertain economic climate, but it’s the only way to break through and get noticed. 

Healthcare marketers must seize this moment and realise the full potential of the creative opportunities in front of them. There has never been a better time to embrace the power of creativity to build brands and shape culture. In doing so, we can bring new meaning to the science we champion, establish deeper and more lasting connections to our brands, and, most importantly, we can help to create a ‘better life’ for all. 

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Energy BBDO, Thu, 13 Apr 2023 11:29:00 GMT