Johnson & Johnson AIDS ward doc crowned in Entertainment


The winner of the 2019 Entertainment Grand Prix is UM Studios for 5B, a documentary commissioned by healthcare brand Johnson & Johnson. Explaining why it won, jury president Scott Donaton said: “We need more stories like this… stories that focus on compassion, care and the importance of creating human connections.”

5B tells the story of the nurses on a San Francisco hospital ward who were willing to care for AIDS victims in the early years of the disease when it was still poorly understood. The story is told through the first-person testimonies of the healthcare professionals who worked on the ward and the patients helped by their courage. “It’s a brave idea, beautifully told and brilliantly executed,” said Donaton. “It wouldn’t have been told without the bravery and commitment of the brand.”

The jury also awarded three Gold Lions in a category that Donaton said is reaching a “tipping point. Entertainment is increasingly being accepted by brands as an established part of their tool box, not just something to be tried once. The more amazing work that is created, the more brands will realise how effective entertainment can be.”

Donaton, who is chief creative & content officer, Digitas, praised the calibre of the storytelling and also the fact that “brands are taking a stand. Brands recognise that the best way to connect with consumers is to have values, and entertainment is a way to express those values.”

Harriet Palmer