Live from Cannes Lions Health: Discussions about health usually happen in carefully controlled environments, full of hushed tones and antiseptic smells. Not at Cannes Lions. There, many of the winners were ones who took personal and difficult discussions into incredibly public spaces. 

Treatment Box

You might remember The Truth campaign for their long-standing fight with the tobacco industry. This year, they turned their focus to opioid abuse with a campaign just as compelling and cutting as you’ve ever seen them wage against cigarettes. 

At the center was Treatment Box, a five-day, entirely unfiltered display of one woman’s detox. The detox happened to Rebekkah. She was 26 years old and addicted to heroin and opioids when she showed up in a box on a New York City street. 

The Truth live cast every moment of her detox – from nausea to insomnia to shaking – into a three-dimensional display in Astor Place that made it look eerily like passersby were seeing right into her room. They watched her wracked with pain and heard her story – in short snippets – of being prescribed with opioids as a 14 year-old cheerleader and turning to heroin with the refills ran out. 

The Healing House

Imagine walking down a street and having all your assumptions about living with HIV challenged. That’s what the Healing House did this year. Oh, and, it offered people a massage in exchange for an open mind, not a bad deal. 

Here are the underlying facts: over half of North Americans say they won’t touch someone with HIV and 95 million believe HIV can be contracted from that kind of simple contact. The Healing House was built to dispel all the myths. It was a 7,000 square foot spa built on a busy Toronto street corner offering free massages from HIV-positive volunteers. Their goal: show people that touch isn’t dangerous; it can actually be healing.

The walls of the spa were covered with real information and calls for change. Hundreds of people participated personally in learning something new about touch. 


Do you take your dog to the vet for annual health screenings? Purina’s research shows that not enough of us pet owners do; so, they brought proactive testing to the street.  

Purina’s Street-Vet is a digital billboard that tests a dog’s urine to check for disease. With one pee on a poll, the smart device can check levels of glucose, protein, leukocytes, and pH and post results right to the interactive digital billboard. Owners can even download results to take to their veterinarians. 

Purina wanted to try a test that happens in real life because dogs are great at hiding their symptoms and not enough of their humans get them to their annual vet checks. Street-Vet can help spot signs of disease early and sync up with the ProPlan Veterinary Diet to support dogs’ health with nutrition. 

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.