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Creative Critique

October 12, 2020 by Renata Florio0

When choosing a theme for this critique, I first thought about discussing the Cannes Health winners of 2020. But then, we all know what happened this year. This is the year we were all forced to rethink the role of creativity. More to the point, this unprecedented pandemic has shined a light on a long-time controversial subject—vaccines and the way we talk about them in the United States. And with so much expectation, hope, and concern swirling around an anti-Sars-Cov2 approval, people are talking about vaccines now more than ever.

I, too, decided to talk about them. I looked at the following creative examples through the lens of the experience they offer me.

After all, science’s role is to be practical and exact, but our role as creatives is to make people experience something unique.

So, do I believe in it? Do I engage with it? Do I feel something?

Creative critique one

Glaxo’s Meningitis B campaigns appeal to both parents and teens, driving home critical points. The first spot shows how much can be missed if a teen is unprotected against meningitis B. The second stresses how severe the symptoms can be.

I chose these spots because they aim to hold parents or guardians accountable for what can happen if they decide not to vaccinate their children. Another reason I chose these campaigns is because I kept thinking about what I would have done differently. The tone in each spot is a bit too sad, and although I understand they are intended as a provocation, they might help unintentionally instill a fear against vaccines. If the styles were more vibrant, I think the message would come across just as well, but in a more positive manner.

Creative critique two

I like the approach for this one because of its optimistic take on what to do with risk information. Knowing what is at stake doesn’t necessarily mean being afraid—that’s what this spot highlights. You know what can happen, so take action to avoid it.

I also like the single-story point of view. Instead of showing the multiple “slices of life” typical in pharma, they portrayed a real young woman living her life with authenticity. The piece is also an excellent example of how cinematography, art direction, acting, and soundtrack work in harmony to deliver a smooth experience to the viewer. As a mother, I feel hopeful. As a creative director, I feel inspired.

Creative critique three

I am so close to absolutely loving this one. An HIV vaccine should be celebrated, and it feels like this is what this spot is trying to do. I appreciate the tenderness, the production value, the talent choices, the location, the light. I admire how such a short film tells such a long, poignant story.

I fall just shy of complete adoration because I would have had the couple share a gentle kiss on the mouth rather than the hand kiss at the end, just as any loving couple would do at a romantic dinner.

Creative critique four

Everything in this spot inspires hope. It’s timely and timeless.

By reminding us that we turn to knowledge, research, and hard work in uncertain times, this spot instills the belief in a better future.

The production value aligns with the new normal in the world of production. Simple still shots or stock imagery tell the story. The intended message comes across with the appropriate gravitas through the thoughtful choice of the voice over.

All in, a beautiful film.

Renata Florio


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