Welcome to the Borderless World of Collective Health
This story is part of a series of interviews with 2022 Clio Health supporting partners about the evolution of healthcare marketing. See more articles from the series here.
Muse: What is your guiding philosophy or approach to creating health marketing that makes a difference for clients and the world at large?
Kelly Stevens, managing director, L&C New York: Health and wellness used to be personal. Now the very opposite is true. We've come to realize that my neighbor's health depends on my health and vice versa, and it's all tied to the health of the planet, the economy and also politics. Covid reminded us that we're all connected—the world is borderless.
Health is impacted by everything humans come into contact with; it's access to food and consuming the right kind of food; it's access to healthcare, period care and the right to have an abortion; it's getting enough sleep, clean air and clean water; it's having a support system; it's physical health, mental health, moving your body and protection from gun violence and war.
And companies can no longer conduct business without considering the impact on our collective health. So truly everyone is responsible for everyone else's health.
At L&C, we aim to create health marketing for this borderless world, where everyone is responsible for everyone else. We look at our clients' challenges as opportunities to bring awareness to global health issues, give people the tools to change their behavior, and connect the brands we work with to culture while doing so, in order to give them greater influence.
It used to be that there were "purpose-led" brands. Post-Covid there are just brands, and every brand had better have a purpose. So we help brands develop and communicate their purpose—not just through marketing but through everything internally and externally—from the development of their commitments through to building world-changing programs with like-minded partners.
Describe a recent campaign that embodied that approach.
Dole Sunshine Company is a brand we've worked with since the start of the agency two years ago. The company's global CMO, Rupen Desai, was looking for an agency partner who could help put health and wellness at the center of the company. We were fortunate enough to become his partner for not only creating the marketing, but for everything start to finish, from identifying goals and internal socialization to consumer-facing activations and programs.
Two of the goals—access to sustainable nutrition for 1 billion people and zero food waste by 2025—were brought to life in our campaign "Malnutrition Facts." The campaign was inspired by the fact that 3.9 million tons of food are wasted every year, but one in nine New Yorkers go hungry every day. Dole believes good nutrition is a human right so we used the places people normally throw trash out to shine a light on the issue.
"Malnutrition Labels" transformed the very symbol of waste into a tool supporting waste reduction and fighting hunger by using garbage bags as contextual media. We launched the campaign in late September 2021 (Hunger Action Month) on recycling bins, garbage bags, garbage bins and garbage trucks in New York City.
We got people to look at trash differently, and then we brought the activation to other cities around the globe. And we won the Grand Clio at Clio Health for the program, which was a very exciting added bonus!
What excites you most about the future of health marketing, and how are you preparing for that future?
I mentioned before that health and wellness is no longer a personal issue, but rather that everyone is responsible for everyone else's health. While that will still be true in the future, we're going to see a return to personalization again. A.I. and metaverse technology will enable us to get extremely bespoke with health and wellness and we'll see that come through every related product and service—and of course, health marketing. It's already highly segmented but it will become hyper-personalized. Everyone is talking about how the metaverse will affect gaming, entertainment and shopping, but we think the possibilities for innovations in healthcare (and health marketing) will perhaps be the most exciting and life-altering.
At L&C, we're preparing for this future by using a combination of data and our imaginations to project where we might be in the next five to 10 years from a technology and product standpoint, and then we'll continue to build our team and our tools against that future. Importantly from a values standpoint, we'll partner with clients who believe everybody in the world deserves the same access to healthcare, bringing purpose and personalization together.