McCann Health, celebrating big Lions Health network win, is already prepping for 3-peat

It’s a two-fer for McCann Health. The global health-focused agency won the Cannes Lions Health network advertising agency of the year for the second year in a row.

Its secret sauce? An organization built over the last decade to value problem-solving creativity, a global viewpoint, a collegial work culture and a sincere openness to all ideas, said McCann Health executives in interviews after the win.

“People who build careers in healthcare advertising, including many of us here at McCann Health, have made a purposeful choice to be in healthcare communications. And now that we’re in it, we’re creating work that answers ‘What are the problems and issues that we think the industry is facing and how can we solve those?’” said Amar Urhekar, president of McCann Health Americas.

Part of its differentiated ability to do that comes from the global culture of the network—more than two-thirds of its 1,700 employees are based outside of the United States. Among the 13 Cannes Health Lions winners were 10 different McCann agencies on five continents. The biggest winner in the network was from McCann Health, New Delhi, for “The Immunity Charm” campaign and its new way to track vaccinations on behalf of the Afghanistan health ministry.

Urhekar said, “This is not about one region, one market, one country, one person, this is about the entire network. Everybody contributes.”

The global feel is reflected at all levels, said Mark Worman, McCann Health global marketing director, who noted that all of the top executives have lived and worked in many regions around the world, affording them an intimacy with those cultures and countries.

Yet even as McCann Health executives and employees celebrated with a Cannes luncheon on Sunday afternoon, they anticipated the celebrating would wind down fairly quickly.

“Winning what we’ve won is fabulous, but Monday is tomorrow and on Monday you start planning for the next iteration and where this is going to take us forward with this as the next baseline,” said Simon Holt, chief business strategy officer at McCann Health and president at Consulting at McCann Health.