Innovation, Not Complication: Lions Health 2017 Recap -- Beth Elkis

Posted by Beth Elkis from Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide — North America on July 11, 2017. 

Clients today want innovation. Unfortunately, we instinctively turn to technology and pursue digital executions that typically take a good deal of time and money and create the perception of “sizzle.” 

However, my experience at Cannes delivered at least one major revelation: Proof that heart-stopping ideas could be based on something as simple as a pebble, a sticker, or a beaded bracelet. Born from a keen view into the real world, beautifully created to bring subtle but powerful disruptions into daily lives. No log-ins needed, no costly staging site, no million-dollar shoot.

Footnote for the Breast

To address the taboo subject of breast cancer among Arab women, small pebbles silkscreened with a message were placed in women’s shoes while they prayed in mosques. The “lump” they felt in their shoe reminded them to self-examine.  What I found truly moving is how these lives were “politely” intercepted in the midst of something discreetly practiced. And the price tag for executing this idea was nominal. Pure genius!

Car Melanoma

South Africans happen to have the highest rate of melanoma in the world. They also pay a great deal more attention to imperfections that appear on their cars than those on their skin. Knowing the attention they give to their vehicles, the campaign called for large stickers that resembled melanoma to be affixed to their cars. When car owners removed the stickers, they saw a call to action and a voucher for a free skin cancer screening. Literally bringing the message to the streets in a way those at risk could not ignore.

Immunity Charm

Afghanistan has a tragically high infant mortality rate because tracking childhood immunizations is problematic. To address this issue, beaded bracelets that mimic those routinely worn by Afghan children were created so that each color-coded bead would indicate the specific vaccine a child had already received. This proved to be a brilliant approach that literally elevated the importance of immunization to that of a widely practiced and accepted cultural behavior.