Live from Cannes Lions: Sometimes the hardest thing in healthcare is knowing what you can do. Brands around the world closed that gap in 2018 with specific, actionable ways for people to raise a hand and get involved. Here are four of our favorites:

Santa Casa’s Hemoji: The largest philanthropic hospital in Latin America had a chronic shortage of donated blood. It ran mass campaigns, but few respondents had the blood type needed at that very moment. To create awareness of the need and make it easier for the hospital to find donors with the most-needed blood types, they turned to the simplest of devices: the emoji. To identify yourself as a blood donor, Santa Casa asked people to add an existing AB / A / B / O emoji with the + or – sign next to their screen name to become a reachable donor. 

MagicMakers’ Take a Seat: In Romania, thousands of children are fighting cancer. When they’re in the hospital, parents sit by their side day and night in a simple chair, the only accommodation made available to them. MagicMakers thought they deserved kinder accommodations. To raise money they recreated a hospital room in a famous gallery. Next to the bed sat a single hard chair. For nearly 20 days, people – including celebrities – changed shifts relentless, making sure someone was always in the chair. They displayed real time donations in the window of the gallery and live-streamed 24/7 online. A shelter for parents who cannot travel or afford accommodations will open near the country’s biggest oncology center as a result of the campaign.

NEMO’s Voice of Voices: This small NGO created a novel way to raise awareness and money for ALS: they gave people something to do. The campaign started as a social experiment on Youtube and Facebook. It asked people to give a voice to the voiceless by helping to create a complete spoken Italian dictionary that would let people with ALS hear real voices when they used text to speech tools. To get involved, people just had to download an app. It would ask them to record one needed word to populate the dictionary and show them other ways to get involved and help. 

Cook County Hospital’s Tiniest Listing: This year’s fundraising imitative at Cook County Hospital is elevating women and children’s health. One of the key areas where they needed support is taking care of babies born prematurely. A single night in an incubator can cost up to  $4000, which isn’t entirely covered by Medicaid, leaving hospitals to raise money to give the best care. To reach new donors, they knew they’d need a new way to break through. The idea came from an increasingly common behavior: people go online to book accommodations for everything from treehouse to igloos to the smallest of apartments. Why not an incubator? TheTiniestListing.com lets donors book a night for a preemie baby in the neonatal unit and learn a lot more about protecting women and girls in Chicago.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.