Clio Health Innovators: Rémi de Carmantrand, Art Director, The Bloc Switzerland

Rémi began his career at Euro RSCG's communications group (now Havas Worldwide) as a graphic designer in eastern France. In 2013, he accepted a new challenge as communications director for a construction company. This casting error served as a springboard for him to set up his own business in 2014. He joined The Bloc in Switzerland in 2015 as art director and head of graphics. 

How you bring creativity and innovation to your work

In the highly regulated world of pharmaceutical advertising, I strive to shatter the uniformity and bring something unique to the table. Never viewing constraints as limitations, I see them as fuel for my creative fires. My creative instincts abhor the cliché concept of "health-related quality of life" and its overused "cheerful top of mountain" key visual. My goal is to concoct groundbreaking visuals that make the clients feel as if they ought to have thought of the idea themselves, because they seem like an obvious idea and the necessary solution.

I'll start by looking for a way to move people. If it entails traversing the shadowy landscapes of a disease, I'm more than willing. Patients yearn for respect and acknowledgment of their struggles rather than sympathy. I never hesitate to tap into provocation, humor or desacralization of certain axioms, if it turns an authentic, emotional edge to the delicate matter. The power of a strong visual in capturing attention even before the delivery of a message is an age-old method. In the pharmaceutical field, it is often underestimated and underutilized. I, however, value its potential.

About a recent project you're proud of

Our pharmaceutical client wanted to send a creative mailer to rheumatologists to promote the clinical benefits of their drug on rheumatoid arthritis (RA). My idea was to make a direct empathetic link between the rheumatologist and their patients. So, I created a haptic mailing series immersing the HCP into the challenges experienced by RA patients who have difficulty handling everyday items.

Each mailing consisted of a real element that needed to be manipulated in order to open the envelope: a bottle cap, a shirt button, lace, zip, etc. All tightly closed on purpose, for the HCP to struggle and better understand the daily life of rheumatoid patients, especially a symptom (stiffness and swelling fingers), that they may have considered "minor." The feedback from HCPs was very positive and helped to better associate our client’s drug with an improvement in quality of life.

What you're most excited about right now in the health space

Pharmaceutical companies are more and more focusing on patient-centricity. That opens the door to new emotional, meaningful projects where we discuss and enhance what matters most: the patient’s life. For instance, health podcasts on various diseases, so patients feel less alone. We also see that humorous campaigns are on the rise. In Switzerland, it was taboo to laugh at a disease. Pharmaceutical companies now realize that most patients need to de-dramatize their disease and openly speak about it.

What it means to you to be selected as a Clio Health Innovator

Being chosen as a Clio Health Innovator fills my heart with joy and pride. It is a beautiful tribute to the tireless dedication, hard work and collaborative spirit of my family at The Bloc. In a world where safety and regulation often overshadow creativity, our selection reflects the fact that we've dared to dream beyond these constraints. In the face of limited resources, as here in Switzerland, it shows that the essence of innovation and creativity isn't about budget size, but rather about the will to create something meaningful and unique. 

This recognition also nudges me gently out of my cozy corner, away from the comfort of anonymity and into the line of sight. I always thrived behind the scenes but this spotlight is a new experience. It's a challenge, it's exciting, it's a chance to keep pushing and evolving. This honor doesn't mark an end, but rather inspires me to continue this journey of visual storytelling each and every day.

"Rémi never thinks of 'constraints' although pharma is most regulated industry. He innovates to make creative campaigns that make client feel like 'why didn't we thought of that before?'"—François Wernette, COO, The Bloc Switzerland

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