The Surgery: How to choose superheroes over strategy…
by Mimi Nicklin (@MimiNicklin) It’s the end of the year and, as our offices show no sign of slowing down just yet, I thought my last column of the year could share some respite, and a smile, to all those equally weary agencies and teams out there. It’s too late to start discussing strategy, so let’s talk superheroes instead…..
The work below from Philips, which has fast become 2016’s creative leaders in healthcare communications (following its Breathless Choir Grand Prix), shows that even a 120-year-old brand can bring standout innovation to its products and marketing. Its newest “Everyday Hero” campaign from Ogilvy & Mather London is based upon the enchantingly true story of a window cleaner who took it upon himself to go the extra mile every time he cleaned the windows of a children’s hospital.
And, let’s be honest, when has a true story ever really made a bad ad? This one is no different, it’s charming and it’s true — the perfect mix for heartfelt storytelling [get your tissues ready, too — ed-at-large].
The campaign includes TV, OOH, digital and social, and is aimed at changing the perception of healthcare professionals with regards to Philips’ offering in the professional healthcare space. That there is overspill to changing brand perceptions for just about anyone who watches it is an added bonus. Social media helped hugely when the world wanted to tune in to the charm of Spider-Man getting ready for the day ahead. Who can resist? The soundtrack helps, too — you can’t go wrong with an ad set to an acoustic cover of Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s “Revolution”.
The key takeaway for me? Amid our technologically driven world, our human touch is still paramount in healing, in health and in life. This skew to hero-ing humanity seems to be a growing theme as the heaviness of 2016 draws to a close and brands all around the world take a stance around (re)building families, friendships and human connection. The tech brands are doing it, the phone brands are doing it — even FMCG is doing it. The importance of bringing — or reintroducing — a human element to creativity, in a data-led world, is bound to be appearing on more screens in 2017, so watch this space.
Until then, dear readers, let’s focus upon the real world and head into the end-of-year holidays surrounded by all our many special humans and entirely forget the advertising industry for a fleetingly ‘in-touch-with-reality’ moment. Here’s to a healthy and happy holidays!
Mimi Nicklin (@MimiNicklin) has spent a decade in the advertising industry, working across global brands in Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa, mainly within WPP. She most recently led GlaxoSmithKline business as global VP for Grey Group, based in Singapore, before relocating back to South Africa, where she is now the head of marketing at Pam Golding Properties. Mimi also has her own business, www.merakicode.net, in integrated health and yoga therapy, inspired by her time in the east. Her regular MarkLives column, “The Surgery”, tracks consumer healthcare communications to drive awareness and passion for this growing creative and dynamic consumer industry within Africa and beyond.