Inside McCann Health NY's Year of Innovative, Impactful Work

Our chat with Clio Health's Agency of the Year

"Everybody's business now is health," says Daryl Somma, chief strategy officer of McCann Health New York. And of course, that's never been more true than during the Covid-19 pandemic, when battling disease became an all-encompassing challenge globally.

Through it all, McCann Health led the way in healthcare marketing with creative and innovative campaigns for its clients, built around proprietary research and top-notch creative. Those efforts this week earned McCann Health NY the coveted title of Clio Health's Agency of the Year for 2020-2021.

In the video above, we chat with Somma and her colleagues Josh Grossberg, Matt Silver and Stephanie Berman about the agency's work during the pandemic, as well as opportunities and challenges in healthcare marketing generally. And below, check out McCann Health NY's Clio-winning work from the past year.

And see all of this year's Clio Health winners at

Mucinex, 'Boring Heroes'

Grand Clio, Print
Silver Clio, Design

During Covid-19, doing nothing—just staying home—was often the most heroic thing to do. McCann Health got artist Noma Bar to create a series of superhero portraits that on second glance revealed the real hero inside—people loafing, reading, or hanging with their cats. While digital versions spread across the web, the agency stuck OOH in the faces of rule-breakers: near bars and beaches.

Change the Ref, 'The Unfinished Votes'

Gold Clio, Digital/Mobile
Gold Clio, Film
Gold Clio, Innovation
Gold Clio, Public Relations (Cause Related)
Gold Clio, Public Relations (Public Affairs)
Gold Clio, Social Media
Silver Clio, Branded Entertainment & Content (Film)
Silver Clio, Branded Entertainment & Content (Digital/Mobile)
Silver Clio, Digital/Mobile & Social Media Craft
Silver Clio, Direct
Silver Clio, Film Craft
Bronze Clio, Direct (Social Media)

In 2018, Joaquin Oliver was killed in a mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida. To continue the fight for gun safety in 2020, McCann Health brought back somebody no one could ignore—Joaquin himself. Using revolutionary deepfake technology driven by neural artificial intelligence, the agency recreated Joaquin’s soul so he could deliver one final, powerful message on film.

Change the Ref | The Unfinished Votes

Entresto, 'Change of Heart MOA'

Silver Clio, Film Craft
Bronze Clio, Film
Bronze Clio, Film Craft (Animation)

Entresto is changing the way heart failure is treated. To explain the science to patients, the brand requested a method of action video. So, McCann Health recorded the first song ever written about heart failure, then we brought it to life in a music video with constantly changing animation styles. It's a science lesson with a beat designed to help patients keep their own beats going strong.

Animal Cancer Foundation 'When One Dog Gives'

Silver Clio, Print
Bronze Clio, Out of Home
Bronze Clio, Out of Home
Bronze Clio, Print & Out of Home
Bronze Clio, Print

Instead of trying to evoke sympathy with the typical images of pets suffering, McCann Health designed a message to make dog lovers smile. One dog created out of four happy individual pups conveys the message that one dog’s donation to the Animal Cancer Foundation can help many other dogs live.

AstraZeneca, 'The CO2 Inhaler'

Bronze Clio, Design
Bronze Clio, Public Relations

Air pollution kills 7 million people every year. More than one-quarter of those deaths are due to respiratory conditions made worse by pollution. In Brazil alone, air pollution kills 50,000 people a year. But what if the pollution could help patients breathe better? McCann Health partnered with AstraZeneca to convert air pollution into biodegradable plastic—in order to create the first inhaler made from carbon dioxide. Not only does the medication help patients breathe better, but so the device itself. It’s AstraZenenca’s first big step in achieving their mission to become carbon negative by 2030.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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