2 Minutes With … Kerry Ciociola, EVP and GCD at FCB Health N.Y.

On how the voice of healthcare is changing

Over the past 19 years, Kerry has worked across a broad range of campaigns for professional and consumer audiences, both in the U.S. and globally. These include efforts for Nexium, Spiriva, Pradaxa, Gilenya and Repatha.

Kerry, who lives with a chronic disease herself, helps patients with multiple sclerosis learn to live well. She empowers and educates parents of infants with spinal muscular atrophy and strives to provide sufferers of alopecia areata with treatment.

Her latest endeavor has been in the world of type II diabetes and weight management, with the launch of Lilly's Mounjaro and Zepbound. 

We spent two minutes with Kerry to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.

Kerry, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now. 

I'm originally from upstate New York—Syracuse. It was a wonderful place to grow up. I spent a lot of time outside. After some years in Manhattan, I've retreated into the wilds of Northern New Jersey, where I'm raising the next generation of feral kids.

How you first got interested in health.

It took time to appreciate what a responsibility this industry has. I was tired of working on cheese, airlines and banks. Understanding the process by which your cheddar is manufactured is important. But not nearly as important as knowing how to claim agency over your health.

One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on.

A piece that I'm particularly proud of is the "Rise Up Recruitment" campaign for Sickle Cell Disease. Sickle Cell patients face a harrowing set of physical challenges—along with healthcare disparities and discrimination, leading to a mistrust of the medical community. Agios and FCB Health New York partnered to create a trial recruitment campaign featuring community members fighting for their lives and the lives of future generations. We brought them to a legendary boxing club outside of Atlanta, gave them lessons in the ring, and captured their vulnerable and empowering fight. It was a moving day that created impactful imagery and unforgettable memories. 

A recent project you're proud of.

Recently, FCB Health embarked on a quest to answer a simple question: How do we erase the technological bias in smartwatches? Studies have shown that the green-light technology in our smartwatches isn't as accurate in capturing heart rates for people with darker skin tones. EQL Band is the first such smartwatch accessory that hears all heartbeats equally, regardless of skin color.

One thing about how health is evolving that you're excited about.

We're at an interesting point, where the voice of healthcare is changing. It's showing up in a much more human way. Ironically, our biggest tool in becoming more human is not human at all. BAIgrapher, from Area 23, is a perfect example of using artificial intelligence to create a simple, meaningful solution for those living with Alzheimer's Disease. Reminiscence therapy is an effective tool that helps slow disease progression by strengthening cognitive reserve. However, it's difficult and time-consuming for patients and their support community. Using AI, this therapy could be controlled through a series of narrative-prompting questions. Patients were left with a wonderful memoir while fighting their disease. The perfect marriage of empathy and science. 

A book, movie, TV show, or podcast you recently found inspiring.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is a beautiful read with an interesting premise. A woman who is struggling with her purpose and makes the choice to end her life is given the opportunity to choose a new reality. 

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

Georgina Trestler. I fell in love with her work in 2021 on a trip to London. There's a fun whimsy to her style of illustration that is simplified but personable. She did a portrait of me last year and it's among my favorite things.

Your favorite fictional character.

The Tooth Fairy. We believed so wholeheartedly as children that this was a part of growing up. None of us questioned that, if part of our body fell off, and we placed it under our pillows, it would be exchanged for money by a tiny creature who snuck into our room at night. 

Someone worth following on social media. 

I love following the simple, kinetic storytelling of illustrator/animator Lucas Zanotto. The abstract characters he creates are so playfully imaginative, and his melodic pairings are unmatched. 

Your main strength as a marketer/creative.

Empathy. Everyone is capable of it, but few operate from a place of understanding. This is a business of people. The better we are at seeing the world from the perspective of our peers, clients and customers, the better we are at solving problems.

Your biggest weakness.

Overcommitment is a disease that so many of us suffer from. We wake up, look at our plates, and try to find any clearance for one more thing. No matter how full our days are, there's a craving to make them fuller. 

Something people would find surprising about you.

I love karate. Every move has purpose and significance. Most importantly, you can train your whole life and still find areas to improve.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in health.

I'd likely be working for Jim Henson's Creature Shop. It was my dream to be a muppeteer when I was growing up—to craft amazing characters and stories. At the end of the day, I get to do just that— only I tell real stories. It's an incredible privilege and responsibility.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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