We ask Teva's Noa Shumovitch
‘Hairdresser’ is a film by Teva Pharmaceuticals and VCCP Health that celebrates the essential role of unpaid carers and their endless devotion and love. It has won multiple national and international awards, including best in show at the PM Society and a recent gold and silver lion at Cannes Lion Health.
We spoke to Noa Shumovitch, VP Head of Corporate Brand, to talk more about what this work has meant for her and for Teva. “Getting recognition for work that we feel so passionate about was a great feeling, but the main reason we’re so delighted is that it helps us shed a light on the topic of caregivers” Noa told us. “While around half of the world’s population are acting as caregivers, it’s still very much under the radar of the industry in general – which is crazy. So being able to bring it into the public awareness through something as big as the Cannes awards is fantastic.”
For background, The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is the largest and most prestigious annual event for creative advertising and communications. Lions Health was launched in 2014 to celebrate life-changing creativity in the wellness and pharmaceutical sectors and in recognition of the work coming out of this sector that navigates its own unique challenges in getting produced.
However, making work that meets the criteria of the Lions Health judges is no mean feat. We asked Noa more about how they got to the end result. She explained that her team was tasked with raising awareness of the challenges that carers face every day. And to do so in a way that spoke to caregivers themselves and the general public. They had to find the right story to tell to do this and a lot of the hard work went into preparing before the creative process even began, talking to caregivers and crafting the right brief for their business objective. “It was not a short process” Noa laughed. “We relied on a lot of research. First quantitative research, to get an idea of the scale of our audience – which was vast. Then we moved on to qualitative, where we really began to understand the personal challenges and emotions that were at play. We shared our research to get buy in and then set about preparing a brief.”
The brief was then shared with VCCP Health, who spent time understanding both the challenge and the human heart of the brief through many conversations with Teva, as well as their own research. The process to get there may have been painstaking, but Noa said the final choice of creative was an easy decision. “It was very clear the minute we saw [Hairdresser] that it was spot on and exactly the emotions and the message that we wanted to convey."
"The process of actually getting people to agree to the creative itself was relatively short, but only because there was so much preparation going on beforehand.”
Many people working in the pharmaceutical industry face the difficulty of balancing creative work with the strict regulations that govern communications. “We may have our limitations as a pharmaceutical company” Noa said, “but it doesn't mean that we can't create great work that delivers on our objectives in a creative way, in an emotional way and in a way that benefits society." What tips would Noa give others looking to make strong creative work in the pharmaceutical industry? “Find a creative agency to partner with that shares your vision.” She advised. “And ensure buy-in throughout the company before the creative is even briefed to help avoid potential problems later in the process.”
We discussed the importance of confidence and belief in your project too.“Don't be afraid to push the envelope” Noa insisted. Noa’s passion and positive approach to the challenges that come with pharmaceutical advertising helped drive creative that made it onto the international awards stage. What better way to achieve the objective of raising the profile of an unseen group and highlighting the support that Teva can offer caregivers all around the world?
"Believe in what you're doing. If you have great creative that answers the brief and you believe it delivers the right message for your brand, then be courageous enough to go for it, even if it's not the traditional type of work - or maybe especially if it's not the traditional type of work."