Lions Health: a fresh forum for creativity and wellbeing

Clockwise from top left; Alexander Schill, Andrea Palmer, Sinead Murphy, Kaname Hayashi, Parixit Bhattacharya, Matt Eastwood and Anirudh Koul

Clockwise from top left; Alexander Schill, Andrea Palmer, Sinead Murphy, Kaname Hayashi, Parixit Bhattacharya, Matt Eastwood and Anirudh Koul


Making a profit need not be at the expense of the welfare of a company’s workforce will be the message of Making Money Is Art, Good Business Is The Best Art, the first Lions Health session tomorrow.

The session, by McCann Health, opens this year’s two-day forum, which explores the role of creativity in improving people’s mental and emotional wellbeing at home, work and play worldwide.

It is among the almost 40 health-themed sessions taking place on Monday and Tuesday, which will examine the use of creativity to improve healthcare; the healthcare industry’s future; the role of design to improve health services, and healthcare storytelling.

As mental-health issues become the topic of major news headlines, look out for Visual Diet: We Are What We See. Exploring The Relationship Between Imagery & Mental Health, a Monday session at 10:45 hosted by M&C Saatchi. The debate points out that, just like what we eat, what we are constantly seeing affects our health.

Thinking Inside Out About Mental Health In Creative Industries is a debate that takes place at 14:45 on Monday. Organised by Publicis Health, it questions why suicide rates are highest among women working in the creative sectors like the arts, entertainment and media.

Then, at 14:45 on Tuesday, delegates get the chance to meet Lovot, the next-generation robot designed to “bring more love to humanity”, according to global innovation consultancy R/GA.

During the session called Lovot: AI Powered By Love, the robot’s inventor Kaname Hayashi, CEO/founder of Japan-based Groove X, explains how mental-health problems among the lonely can be prevented by giving them companion robots made with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that recognises human emotions.

Among the eye-catching headlines at this year’s Lions Health is The Big See at 14:45 on Tuesday. The challenge of ads highlighting that the outdoor lifestyle can be the cause of life-threatening skin cancer has never been easy. The Skin Cancer Foundation’s ‘Big See’ experiential campaign hopes to break that taboo.

How Drinking And Driving Can Be Good For Your Health should raise a few eyebrows. But iconic creative agency BBH is actually referring to two equally iconic brands: Swedish alcohol spirit Absolut Vodka and the German auto brand Audi.

BBH said the discussion aims to share lessons learned from “taking risks to strengthen their brand”. In the case of Absolut, for example, it recently launched a campaign called The Vodka With Nothing To Hide, in which 28 naked real-life employees as well as actors bare all while revealing how the drink is distilled.

“Our latest brand film for Absolut leads the way for transparency in the most revealing way possible. From each seed to every bottle, Absolut’s journey is laid bare for all to see — viewer discretion advised,” BBH said.

Another session, The Doc With The Dragon Tattoo, questions the role of the modern-day doctor. Organised by Conde Nast and taking place 15:15 on Tuesday, it will look at the changing relationship between healthcare professionals and patients in an era when both have access to endless amounts of health-related data online. The speakers include Publicis Health Media president Andrea Palmer.

Lions Health addresses solutions for visual impairment on Tuesday. At 14:15, Birthing The World’s First Eye Language, by TBWA Mumbai, asks the following: “Imagine not being able to communicate that you need to be turned to the other side on your bed. If another human's suffering doesn't inspire innovation then what will?”

The session will feature Parixit Bhattacharya, managing partner, creative, at TBWA Mumbai, talking to Dr. Alok Sharma, founder of NeuroGen, the India-based company specializing in stem-cell therapy.

They will discuss ‘Blink to Speak’, a campaign that aims to help paralysed people who can only communicate by moving their eyes. It has recognised 50 eye movements to create a new language in its own right.

AI Empowering The Blind Community, on Monday at 15:45, sees Anirudh Koul, head of AI and research at US-based AIRA, talk about a future where the world will take the concept of blind marathon athletes, blind photographers, blind divers and the visually impaired in several professions for granted.

Aira, which specialises in connecting blind people with experts who can help them fulfil their professional ambitions, argues that developments in AI, the emerging 5G wireless networks and wearable tech are creating groundbreaking opportunities to make such ambitions a reality.

Other Lions Health sessions to attend include Mondays Enable Everybody Or Reach Nobody: Why Accessible Brands Will Win (10:30). This calls for the development of more tech services that are accessible to all to ensure both abled and disabled people can benefit. Speakers include Alexander Schill, global chief creative officer at Munich-based Serviceplan Group.

#TouchOfCare — Brands As A Force For Good, at 11:15 on Monday, sees Publicis and Procter & Gamble join forces to illustrate why the ‘Touch Of Care’ initiative by over-the-counter medication brand Vicks has reached more than 100 million people in Asia. It has Vicks highlighting the achievements of real-life ordinary people with extraordinary abilities to care for others.

On Monday at 11:45, delegates will have a chance to discover The Key Disruptions Shaping The Future Of Healthcare. Crafted by WGSN, the trends-forecasting company, the session will show how the lifestyles within five new categories are impacting developments in healthcare: Allclusive Health; High-Powered Women; The New Age; Wellness Tourism; and AI Instructors.

And the session The Transformative Power of Augmented Reality in Healthcare With Allegra, at 12:15 on Monday, exemplifies the way new tech like AR in ad campaigns can help consumers understand how to adopt new pharmaceutical drugs safely, especially those bound by tough regulatory conditions.

Monday night’s Awards Show celebrates the winners in the following categories:  Pharma Lions, Young Lions Health, Health & Wellness Lions, Lions Health Grand Prix for Good, Healthcare Network of the Year, Healthcare Agency of the Year, among others.

And at 13:00 on Tuesday, Inside The Jury Room – Health & Wellness invites awards’ jury members to explain why they agreed on the winners and what made them groundbreaking choices.

The jury members include Matt Eastwood, global chief creative officer, McCann Health; Sinead Murphy, creative director at Syneos Health; and Shaheed Peera, executive director at Publicis Lifebrands.

Harriet Palmer