Havas Lynx Group lifts a silver Cannes Lion with landmark HIV campaign

Havas Lynx Group lifts a silver Cannes Lion with landmark HIV campaign


Communicating a landmark moment for the HIV community has helped a leading healthcare communications agency secure another award at the famous Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Havas Lynx Group, which was named Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the Year in 2018, was again recognised at the world’s largest awards for the creative and marketing communications industry, winning ‘Silver’ in the Pharma/Disease Awareness & Understanding category for its U=U= campaign.

Developed for ViiV Healthcare and in partnership with 13 different UK HIV charities, the company’s team of creatives and digital specialists gained a true understanding of the impact of what ‘Undetectable = Untransmittable’ means for those living with HIV.

It is now scientifically proven that if you are living with HIV and your viral load reaches and maintains an undetectable level through treatment, you can’t pass the virus onto anyone else. The global communications agency had the job of coming up with a campaign that demonstrated what this means to people living with HIV and their loved ones.

Havas Lynx Group was shortlisted for four awards in total, with one of those in the Health and Wellness segment and the other three in Pharma, where just 31 entries out of 349 made it through to this stage.

“We are thrilled to be back at Cannes and winning another major award for the way we are raising standards in the pharma sector,” commented Tom Richards, Chief Creative Officer at Havas Lynx Group.

“U=U= is such an emotional film and is extremely important in communicating a landmark moment for people living with HIV. Just 24 hours after its launch, we reached over 40,000 people in the HIV community online, capturing the attention of individuals to inform them of a breakthrough which will inevitably have a huge impact on their lives.”

Elizabeth Egan, President of the Havas Lynx Group said: “U=U= is a perfect example of the approach we try to take at the Havas Lynx Group. It’s not good enough to just do the same things; we need to use creativity to provoke conversation – often around traditionally difficult topics – so that we can improve healthcare and people’s understanding of different diseases and conditions.”

Havas Lynx Group, which offers campaign development, brand strategy, healthcare innovation and capability building, has enjoyed a whirlwind 12 months since last year’s Cannes Lions Awards, increasing its workforce to over 350 to keep up with a host of new campaign wins and increased demand from blue chip clients, including AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Roche.

It marks a major period of growth for the business and comes just 33 years after it was formed as a small creative agency in the Northern Quarter of Manchester.

In addition to the ‘Silver’ award, the agency was also shortlisted in the following categories:

Journal of Me – Pharma/Patient Engagement/Print & Publishing

A straight-talking, to the point, no-nonsense self-help book for people living with psoriasis.

The pages are filled with friendly advice, medical expertise and practical exercises, covering everything from mental health issues to social stigma and comorbidities.

See Below – Pharma/Healthcare Professional Engagement/Branded Content & Entertainment: Live Experience

Grabbing the attention of dermatologists at a skin convention isn’t easy, so Havas Lynx Group created an engaging 4D experiential lift experience that not only stood out but also  highlighted the injection as the first drug to treat severe eczema underneath the skin.

The first ever 4D lift experience took people on an incredible journey below the skin to see how the drug worked, up to explore the patient’s world and finally launched them above Paris and into space.

New Mindset – Health & Wellness/Non-profit Education & Awareness/Animation & Visual Effects

Narrated by Stephen Fry, the animation underlines how mental ill health is a global issue that affects everyone, everywhere and was created to support the activities of United for Global Mental Health.

Tom Richards concluded: “The Cannes Lions Awards is the ‘world cup’ for our sector and it is great to not only be recognised for our work, but to also lead the debate on some of the pressing issues and opportunities facing our industry.”