Live from Cannes Lions Health: Every year, at shows like this one, there are a few campaigns that just surprise and delight. They most often include unexpected things in unexpected places. Like Head & Shoulders in the Holy Land, great works of literature on toilet paper, and dog treats on phones. Come on, you want to read about that!

Yarmulke Switch

This might make you nervous, but: P&G research shows that 1:3 people who have dandruff don’t know it and their friend and family don’t tell them. To shine a light on “dandruff denial” and help people self-diagnose, the Head & Shoulders brand went to an unexpected place: the yarmulke. 

Prior to entering The Western wall in Jerusalem, the holiest Jewish site in the world, visitors must put on a yarmulke. Ten million people a year put on that brimless cap as part of the ritual. 

Head & Shoulders decided to sponsor those yarmulkes and – in doing so – create the largest-ever dandruff testing demonstration. At the entrance, visitors were handed a Head & Shoulders created yarmulke. When those caps were returned, attendants checked inside to see whether the user had dandruff or not and provided samples to people who need them. Fifty thousand visitors were tested and 40% received a trial kit, tipping sales up 6% compared to the previous period. 

Toilet Books

People living with Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC) can spend up to 10 hours on the toilet each week. Yet, Gastroenterologists and PCPs are more likely to tell them to drink more water or use OTC laxatives than to consider serious medicine. To give doctors a better sense of the scale of the life interruption their patients were experiencing, Synergy Pharmaceuticals created Toilet Books. 

These books focused on the ten hours on the toilet. That’s enough time to read a 300-page book. So the team printed entire classic novels onto rolls of toilet paper to show doctors how much time is really lost to CIC. The 180-foot toilet paper rolls were sent as invitations to advisory meetings where the company would co-create new solutions to supporting people with CIC. 


People love taking selfies – especially with cute props. But, when they try to get their furry friends in the picture, well … they don’t always cooperate. That’s why Pedigree created SelfieStix, a little plastic clip that can be added to any phone to hold a Dentastix treat and immediately focus the puppy’s attention forward. 

This year, the team added to the marketing effort with a companion app that lets picture takers use Standford-created AI to track their dog’s face and add any number of fun filters, making the pup instantly look like a police officer, pilot, graduate, explorer or furry cowboy.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.