Top Cannes award goes to Philips, but Pfizer and Teva take home honors

Cannes harbor, courtesy of Christophe Finot.

Top pharma honors at the Cannes’ creative ad confab went to Philips for a heartwarming film for its medical devices, and Big Pharmas Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novartis and Bayer each took home awards--while Teva Pharmaceutical Industries picked up two.

Created by Ogilvy & Mather, the Philips short film follows the journey of 18 people with respiratory problems who learn from an expert coach how to sing again and put on a concert at the Apollo Theater.

Philips’ devices are used without mention by the singers with conditions including cystic fibrosis, reduced lung capacity, asthma and COPD in the Cannes’ Grand Prix-winning entry.

“It’s a stunning example of cinematic storytelling in the medical devices industry and clearly breaks the mold,” said Pharma jury leader Alexandra von Plato, group president at Publicis Healthcare Communications, in a press release.

A record-breaking 2,605 entries were submitted for the Cannes Lions Health awards in its third year, with a total of 99 Lions awarded overall. In the Pharma category, 52 Lions were awarded from the 582 entries submitted, while in the Health & Wellness category, 47 Lions were awarded from the remaining 2023 entries.

Pfizer was one of four gold award winners with a print campaign for Xalatan eye drops to treat high eye pressure, created by McCann Health, Hong Kong. Teva Neurosciences also won gold for its Parkinson’s disease campaign “Parkinsounds”--created by Havas Life, Sao Paolo--that paired music therapy to patients’ gaits. The other two gold pharma winners were Aster Healthcare and the Indian Association of Palliative Care.

Silver-award winning pharma companies were Bayer, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Salix Pharmaceuticals and Teva again, with a campaign for DuoResp Spiromax.

The Grand Prix winner in the Health & Wellness category went to Pearson, a British educational publishing company, for a literacy campaign created by FCB’s Inferno, London.

- see all the Lions Health 2016 winning campaigns
- read the Cannes release

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Editor's Note: This story was updated to state that the Philips concert took place at the Apollo Theater, rather than Carnegie Hall.