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As the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity approaches, we are excited to present a special Inside Ƶ series: "Meet the Jury." This series offers an exclusive glimpse into the minds of our esteemed jury members who have been instrumental in shaping the future of advertising and communications. We are thrilled to share insights from Wendy Chan, Health Creative Lead for APAC and the Jury President for the Health and Wellness category, who reflects on her evolving role, the emerging trends in the Health and Wellness category, and offers practical advice for creatives and strategists.

Reflecting on My Role and Observations as a Juror

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve as a Cannes Jury member for the fourth time. Cannes has consistently been at the forefront of pushing the industry forward, both in business and advertising. As the media landscape evolves, communication strategies have also undergone significant changes. We’ve moved from top-down approaches to engaging and now involving consumers directly, a tend identified in our 2023 Ƶ Trust Barometer Special Report: The Collapse of the Purchase Funnel. In today's world, brands play a bigger role in consumers' lives by taking action to solve relevant problems. The trend in creativity now leans towards incorporating elements of earned media, which has the power to make real change.

Emerging Trends in the Health and Wellness Category

The Health and Wellness category has seen a significant increase in the number and quality of cases submitted. More brands are recognizing the potential to revitalize their offerings by embracing a wellness perspective. One notable trend is the rise in cases addressing mental health issues, particularly those stemming from social media's impact on teens and children. As kids are exposed to information, they may not be developmentally ready for, various problems emerge, such as psychological and mental health concerns, difficulties in connecting with others, and challenges in developing values. This shift underscores the growing awareness and responsibility brands have towards fostering a healthier society.

Advice for Creatives and Strategists

Creating great, award-winning work requires a whole team effort. It takes time to thoroughly understand the client's needs and build trust throughout the partnership. Effective communication with various departments and layers within the client's organization is crucial, and this process often requires patience and persistence. It's essential to be both persistent and agile. Aim to be more than just partners; strive to be business partners. By doing so, you can create impactful work that not only meets but exceeds client expectations.

Being a juror at Cannes Lions is an incredible honor and a learning experience. The evolving trends in the industry, particularly in the Health and Wellness category, highlight the importance of addressing critical issues like mental health. For creatives and strategists, the journey to creating outstanding work is built on a foundation of trust, communication, and a relentless drive to push boundaries. Let's continue to harness the power of creativity to make meaningful change in the world.

Wendy Chan is the Health Creative Lead for APAC and the Jury President for the Health and Wellness category at the 2024 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.