Executive creative director, McCann Health Shanghai
When Breath of Life, an app-based anti-COPD campaign for GSK China, took home a gold and won the Pharma Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity last June, it announced — loudly — the arrival of McCann’s Shanghai creative team as a global force. The award was all the more remarkable because it ended a two-year drought in which no Pharma Grand Prix were awarded. (McCann Health Shanghai was also named Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the Year, while parent McCann Health was named Healthcare Network of the Year.)
McCann Health’s Shanghai creative team is led by executive creative director Wendy Chan, the architect of Breath of Life. “Health is the new sexy,” Chan told MM&M from McCann’s suite overlooking the Mediterranean the morning after the agency’s victory — and Breath of Life certainly demonstrated that. As one pharma juror noted, the work “is an elegant mix of art, science and technology thoughtfully created to drive diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, one of the leading causes of death in China. By blending the traditional Chinese art form of blow painting with modern, sharable mobile technology, more patients can be diagnosed, and more lives can be saved.”
Chan led a small creative team on the project, which came together in a warp-speed four months with help from other parts of the McCann empire. Still, all the glory reflects on China, which must now be seen as a creative as well as an economic powerhouse. “I’m so happy we won for China,” Chan said. “It can only encourage us to help our clients solve more health problems.”
A graduate of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University with a degree in advertising, Chan is a 24-year creative veteran of agencies in Hong Kong and China. She’s had stops along the way at Ogilvy & Mather as well as Grey, and spent more than 12 years as a creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi.