Cannes, France – The hardest thing to do is to change human behavior. That doesn't stop us from trying. Around Cannes, we saw smart ideas on how to fit into people's lives and build on health behaviors and commitments they already had. These three ideas, though, they're all about clever interruption.

Aqium Germ Swap

Aqium launched an upgrade to its anti-bacterial hand sanitizer in the middle of the hottest summer in Sydney. Typically this category focuses innovation and market growth on the cold and flu season. But the record temperatures created a unique opportunity: a perfect storm of heat and humidity that would help germs multiply and spread with every contact. Aquim targeted the 1 million commuters moving through the train system every weekday. They covered the train and station surfaces with invisible UV ink. When those commuters walked through the 'UV light' activation area, they saw a shocking demonstration of how easily germs are spread. 

Medcare Pebble

In Dubai, women were not proactively seeking breast cancer screening, in large part due to the taboo about talking about it. Yet, 44% of the cancers in the Middle East are breast cancers. To break the silence in a very sensitive way, Medcare placed a pebble inside the shoes of women who went for prayers or attended religious education sessions. Upon coming back, the women felt a lump inside their shoes with a note that said simply, “Some Lumps are Not Visible, Breast Check Tips at 1-800-Medcare." 33.3% of recipients called the toll-free number.

Car Melanoma

South Africa has the 2nd highest incidence of skin cancer in the world after Australia. Yet, it seemed that people worried more about marks on their cars than marks on their skin. To increase awareness, CANSA made "car melanomas," low-tac adhesive stickers that could be placed on the doors of cars parked near a beach. The stickers looked like damage to the cars but when car owners pulled them off, they found a damage-free car and a message encouraging them to use the stickers as vouchers for free skin tests at pop-up clinics nearby.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 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 held several leadership roles at our largest agency, 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. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, 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.