Grand Jury Spotlight: Arron O'Hare

Arron is a Creative Director at Open Health, he left school with a fistful of qualifications, a portfolio stuffed full of creative ambition and a choice of two careers

USA | October 07, 2019

Each year, the Global Awards recruits some of the world’s most prominent award-winning industry creatives and thought leaders to serve on the Global Awards Grand Jury. Arron is a Creative Director at Open Health, he left school with a fistful of qualifications, a portfolio stuffed full of creative ambition and a choice of two careers – the first as a sign writer, the second as a studio junior in an ad agency. He chose the latter. From the roots up, he learnt the art of art direction and advertising, and has been in the business of leading his teams to generate award-winning creative solutions for health, wellness, and pharmaceutical products and services for over 25 years. He believes audiences deserve to be entertained, engaged, amused, and challenged; and the best way to achieve this is with simple, bold, yet meaningful creativity.

Global Awards: As you make your way through life, you encounter inevitable health issues with friends and family. Are there any diseases, issues, conditions that you have a yearning to work on?  Why?

Arron O'Hare: Mental Health on the whole is an area that really interests me. We are slowly turning a corner in the UK whereby it is a topic that people are becoming more comfortable discussing – particularly amongst the younger male population – but despite this and some great government initiatives and nationwide awareness campaigns, I believe agencies with specialisms and expertise in the healthcare arena could invest more of their own time to help and push the issue to the fore and to tackle some of the associated stigma that continues to surround the issue.

Global Awards: This is more of awards and advertising question.  There seems to be varying opinions about the nature of the content awarded top honors at Healthcare Awards show 5-10 years ago, and what tends to win in today’s competitions.  There are some people that believe the bar is being raised, and there are some in the industry that believe the everyday work is getting outshined by causes.  What are your thoughts?

Arron O'Hare: The awards landscape is changing and so it should – as an industry we should always be looking to evolve in all we do. Therefore we are seeing more ‘causes' and work ‘for the greater good’ being awarded than ever, so when the ‘This girl can’ campaign for Sport England cleared up at both the Cannes and Cannes Lions Health awards a few years back, it signalled a change on what is now becoming viewed as great creativity in healthcare. 

Whilst it was a great piece of work it is not a true reflection of what most agencies in the healthcare sector get to work on. 

Of course, some awards are now dividing the entry categories and criteria up between Health and Pharma to make a more level playing field, but with the best will in the world even the most beautifully crafted HCP campaign for a branded treatment is going to struggle against some of these other pieces for causes etc. and we are slowly being conditioned to accept such work as the benchmarks for creative brilliance in healthcare. 

But everything in context, so if these pieces serve to inspire and influence our own work and make it even better – which we are seeing happen – it can’t be a bad thing.