Tom Richards is CCO of Havas Lynx EU and is responsible for the creative reputation of Havas Lynx. With over 20 years’ advertising experience producing award winning and category-changing work across every conceivable medium, Tom believes in harnessing the power of creativity to solve problems, sell products and more importantly improve lives.

A.I.? This year Cannes was all about E.I. – Emotional Intelligence. The best creative people have this in bucket loads and when embraced it creates an empathetic understanding with their audience. If we can understand what makes people tick emotionally, we’re already half way to creating incredibly powerful communications.

Emotional intelligence plays a massive part in connecting products to consumers and HCP’s by harnessing emotions. Happiness; Sadness; Joy. Ideas that embrace these then become more than just one dimensional graphic solution, they actually make the audience feel something, when people feel something they are empowered to react, take notice, and change behaviour.

And this sense of feeling was so apparent in the winning work:

This made me feel humble.
Medulla Communications, Mumbai

This made me chuckle, and made me feel my Moobs.
Grand Prix for Good: ‘Manboobs’ by David (Buenos Aires)

This made me feel inspired:
Pharma – Grand Prix: ‘Breathless Choir’ for Philips by Ogilvy London

This made me feel inspired to act:
Health & Wellness – Grand Prix: Project Literacy for Pearson by FCB Inferno

And this one from our network filled me with pride, winning a Gold and Silver Lion. A beautiful piece of creative that empowers Parkinson patients by teaming up with Spotify and using music to make a monumental difference to their lives.
Havas Life Sao Paolo: Parkinsounds

On my final day I nipped into Cannes Lions and checked out the outdoor, press and direct finalists. I was truly overwhelmed by the quality of work on display. And it took me back to the first time I set foot in the Palais on my first visit to Cannes Lions back in 2000. I’ll never forget that feeling of awe and inspiration – reminding me once again that powerful experiences stay with you.

And that’s exactly what we should be doing with all of our work – creating an experience, prompting a feeling, sparking an emotion, because that’s how we change behavior. Create a reaction. Make a difference.

I believe we are incredibly lucky to work in healthcare and pharma. We get to work for some amazing clients and companies, and they hand fantastic creative opportunities to us on a plate every day. Because the difference is, we’re not trying to just flog a loan. Or a can of fizzy pop. We are working on genuinely meaningful products, services and initiatives. We can improve outcomes. Change lives. Even save lives. We don’t need to scrabble around for something different to say. Or invent a benefit. Or make things up. We have everything at our disposal to flex our Emotional Intelligence and create something amazing. It’s all there for the taking. And it doesn’t get more emotional than that, does it?