What We Learned From Cannes Lions Health 2016

July 26,2016

At Fingerpaint, we had the good fortune of having a booth right in the midst of the action.

This is what we saw from our Côte d’Azur-side seat:

  1. There are still plenty of curious, creative, caring minds (and work) that want to make a difference in people’s lives.
  2. There are still plenty of people who just want to do cool-looking ads that won’t ever make a difference in people’s lives.
  3. All of us need to decide which side we’re on. Every single day.
  4. There is still a need to grapple with the “Davos-level” issues that face our healthcare clients and their business, and grapple them with actual clients. (Maybe then they’ll come.)
  5. The Innovation Hack, sponsored by the forward-thinking folk at RB (Reckitt Benckiser) and international charity Save the Children, was the highlight of the festival for a number of reasons. First, it put clients and agency members on teams together to solve a problem (versus the “agency-knows-best” or “client-knows-best” relationships we have created). Next, teams were asked to solve a problem with creative thinking, including the creation of an innovative product instead of “doing creative.” And, finally, these teams shot for the stars because they cared about making an impact. Sure, the winners brought home trophies, but the ideas, process, experience, and inspiration were worth so much more. (Plus, it made me realize all I have to do is work 24 hours straight and then take the rest of the week off.)

The weekend reinforced in us the need to truly activate brands, more than build them, in order to get them into the hands of those who need them most. Not a bad weekend.


Bruce Rooke heads up Fingerpaint’s Perpetual Ideation Machine. When he’s not inventing new communications ideas, strategically integrating marketing campaigns or driving new business, Bruce can be found marinating a different idea; like the next flavor of beer he’s going to brew.

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