Havas Health & You's Laura Florence on IDverse and Why All Brands Are Health Brands

Also, how healthcare marketing makes creatives think more broadly

Laura Florence is executive creative director of Havas Health & You Brazil. She has more than 27 years of experience working for Brazilian branches of worldwide agencies, developing campaigns for brands like Kimberly-Clark, Mondelez, P&G, Unilever, Nike, Sanofi, Merck, Coca Cola, Heineken and Jeep. She has a robust track experience conceptualizing online and offline campaigns, an in-depth understanding of technology, data-driven marketing and healthcare DTC/HCP.

In her spare time, Laura is a podcaster, a runner, an amateur chef, an international speaker and mother. She is a co-founder of MORE GRLS, a social impact startup providing tools and support for transforming the industry.

We spoke with Laura for our new series Checkup, where we chat with leaders in the healthcare marketing space.

Laura, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I was born and live in São Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil. But in my childhood, I lived in Salvador, the capital of the street carnival. Temperatures are much higher and the pursuit of pleasure in life is more intense in the Brazil I live in today.

How you first got into healthcare marketing, and what attracted you to it.

I have a personal rule that guides my professional changes: It only makes sense to change jobs if, in this new experience, I will add something new to my skill set. I always say that I started my career with a 12-color crayon box and I got a bigger case with every professional change. I think I now have a 1,000-color box. The world of health opened its doors for me when I had already experienced different segments: traditional advertising, digital, content and consulting. I thought it would be an excellent new skill to have on my professional journey. Not to mention that we want more and more purpose when we get older. And saving lives is quite a purpose.

Something people might not know about the healthcare industry.

Many things. I could talk about it for hours. But I'll try to summarize the main ones mainly for creatives. The first is that creativity in this area has never been so valued. Before, an excellent creative health professional had to know the regulations, disease and market. Today, we have learned that these are skills that can be acquired quickly and having an excellent creative navigating the limitations of the rules is fundamental.

The second thing is that it's a booming market. Health has never been given so much value, and soon all brands will be health brands because living longer and better is at the top of people's priorities. And finally, it is the most inclusive market for creativity, with more women in leadership, more POC and more longevity.

A recent project you're proud of.

Definitely, IDverse, which won several awards last year. We pride ourselves on it not just for its creativity but for being an atypical creative delivery. We didn't do a campaign. We thought about solving a problem and we used our creativity. The result was a new iconographic language. It is proof that we are thinking beyond traditional formats.

Havas Health & You | IDverse
Someone else's project in healthcare that you were impressed by recently.

I really like "Filed by Palsy" from my Havas colleagues because it reverses a human logic that people with disabilities need help. On the contrary, it shows their potential. That's true inclusion. I think the combination of health and causes is always very positive.

APCL | Filed by Palsy

Another one I like for the delicacy, execution and very true insight is Teva's "Hairspray." My parents are in this situation and it particularly touched me.

Teva | Hairspray
A major challenge facing healthcare advertisers today.

Hiring talent. The market has grown a lot and agencies are growing in urgent need of new creative talent. The demand is enormous. Come, creative people!

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

The healthcare market allows us to express our creativity the most. We spend all our time looking for loopholes with so many regulations and restrictions. This makes us think more broadly, and the solution is not always a campaign. The fruit of our creativity can be a new system, a digital product, a new device or cinema film. Our possibilities of formats and channels are endless. We hardly have these opportunities in the consumer industry.

How healthcare can attract more creative talent.

I think it's already attracted more talent, and awards play an essential role in this. Through the awards, creatives see the possibility of having a successful career in a particular area. Health has attracted many consumer talents with this vision. I'm one of them. I think it opened the door to creativity where only science was valued before. It is noteworthy that health ideas are even more special because most of them carry genuine human insights. More than that, they have the possibility of a better existence in this life.

What would you be doing if you weren't in healthcare marketing.

I would be dedicating myself even more to my social startup MORE GRLS, which aims to increase the number, value and visibility of women in underrepresented areas such as creative. We're currently producing our second podcast season and I've found that I love being a podcaster. If I had more time, I would have several.

Checkup is our new weekly Muse series, publishing on Thursdays, where we chat with leaders in healthcare marketing. To learn more about Checkup or our Clio Health program, please get in touch.

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