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#CannesLions2017: Mandi Fine on awarding work that truly changes people's lives

I chatted to Mandi Fine, CEO of F/NE and juror for the Cannes Lions Pharma Lions as part of Lions Health, live in Cannes, France.
BizcommunityMandi, it is wonderful to see you.

Thank you, it’s wonderful to be here.

BizcommunityTell me about your experience of the Cannes Health Lions.

Mandi Fine, CEO of F/NE and juror for the Cannes Lions Pharma Lions.
It’s been the most incredible, inspiring, uplifting and humbling week. I am filled with gratitude to have been asked by Lions Health to be on the Pharma Jury.

There are two juries in Lions Health: Pharma and Health & Wellness. The Pharma Jury has an incredible responsibility around promoting creative work – creativity – that is life-changing, and in the context of Pharma, it truly it really can save people's lives.

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So it’s been very elevating in terms of reminding us of the importance of words, communication and marketing to change, uplift and enhance the world and people’s lives.

BizcommunityTell me about the standard of creativity because historically, by its very nature, the pharma or healthcare category is not known for great creativity. What was the standard like this year?

You’re right, Pharma is highly regulated and there are so many hoops that one has to jump through to get a piece of work out, let alone a creative piece of work. There’s regulations, there’s client issues, there are legal issues… So to actually produce work in this category, the number of hurdles are enormous. We, as a pharma jury, were rigorous about defining what pharma was and making sure that only the best work that would stand in any Cannes category saw the light of day.


We had a very short shortlist, and we were rigorous around making sure that everything on the shortlist was Cannes Lions-worthy. And then, from the shortlist there was a lot of gold, bronze and silver lions that were awarded, but that said, the work that we saw was absolutely the best of creativity.

BizcommunityWhat was the most awarded piece of work at the Health Lions?

There was a piece of work in the Pharma category that stood out head and shoulders above the rest. While technology was everywhere, there was also a lot of virtual reality but the piece that stood out is a very low-tech piece of work. It’s called the ‘Immunity Charm’. It was awarded four golds and four silvers by our jury and the ‘Grand Prix for Good’. Unfortunately, because of the requirements in pharma for grands prix having to be for a corporate client we couldn’t award it a grand prix.

The Grand Prix for Good-winning work.

We called it ‘the ultimate wearable’ in the jury room because it is actually a bracelet that shows a vaccination on a child in Afghanistan and it is the ultimate depiction of data visualisation. It enhances patient compliance; raises awareness to parents around vaccination, where in many Third World-countries vaccination compliance is very low. And so it was really life-changing work in the simplest, simplest way, but met all our needs as a jury for simplicity, creativity and life-changing work.

BizcommunityI was very excited to see that in the health and wellness category, South Africa won gold for the Surfshack by Y&R SA.

Yes, It’s beautiful storytelling and an amazing depiction of upliftment, and obviously very exciting for South Africa. The Surfshack is actually a small Muizenberg-based school that runs a volunteer-based outreach programme, and Y&R SA created the ‘Chasing the Dragon’ movie that won them a health and wellness award:



According to Graham Lang, CCO for Y&R SA and Africa, winning that gold lion is a massive achievement and he extended congratulations to everyone involved at Y&R South Africa and 7Films. He explained that their involvement with Surf Shack began in 2015 when Andrew Welch, Y&R CEO at the time, put a simple CI brief into their Cape Town studio. That evolved into something much bigger, and Lang says it has been incredible to tell the story of how young lives can be changed when they are channeled through the timeless wisdom of the ocean.”

Here’s hoping for much more Lion-worthy SA work in the coming week. The Festival of Creativity runs from 17-24 June 2017, with Cinemark the local representatives of Cannes Lions for SA. Visit our Cannes Lions special section for the latest updates!

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About Ann Nurock

A former CEO of Grey South Africa and President/CEO of Grey Canada, Ann Nurock is now the Africa Partner of Relationship Audits and Management, a global consultancy specialising in the measurement, risk mitigation and optimisation of B2B relationships. Contact details: | Twitter @Annnurock
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