Grand Jury Spotlight: Wendy Chan

Wendy has over 20 years of experience as creative in Top 4As advertising, Hong Kong and China.

Global Awards | October 08, 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. Wendy has over 20 years of experience as creative in Top 4As advertising, Hong Kong and China. She enjoys finding a creative solution in all forms. She has won more than 40 awards, including China’s 1st Cannes Lion, One Show, Spike, London International Advertising Award, Times. In 2007 she was selected as China's top 10 Art Directors. In 2011 she was invited to be Jury in Cannes in Print category. 

Global Awards: How have empowered and informed patients changed the way Healthcare & Wellness brands connect with the consumer?

Wendy Chan- Patient – centricity for many pharma brands is still a mission that needs to be practiced in reality specially in the context of China. The doctor here still remains as the focal point of healthcare delivery (information, solutions and maintenance) and patients trust doctors in the absence of any authentic and credible sources of healthcare delivery. However, since the internet revolution in China has gone several paces ahead of any global indices, information and education to patients have witnessed large scale democratization with more pharma companies investing in innovative techniques to empower large patient bases with due knowledge and diligence. From setting up health platforms to internet hospitals, from online consultation to advocacy for self-care health apps, China is already ahead of all nations in using technology for healthcare delivery to ensure access to the maximum possible who need it.

Global Awards: How has big data and AI helped advertisers hit the target for brands? What new trends in healthcare advertising have you seen emerge in the past year?

Wendy Chan -  AI, Machine learning, robotics and many contemporary tech practices use large scale data to create specific customized patient journeys & solutions thereby helping brands to create influence at various stages depending on the need. The use of AI and Big data has made target profiles more specific enabling brands to segment customers and create customized content that is relevant and initiates a behavioral change. In short, precise targeting has replaced carpet bombing.

In continuing further to the above-mentioned point, I think a more empowered patient and caregiver is able to precisely and proactively search and shop for solutions. Earning loyalty in midst of stiff competition in generic market scenarios has made pharma companies reposition their strategies about brands specially through developing integrated communication. Though doctor remains as one of the key influencers in the patient’s decision-making process, brands are using newer ways to influence patients and impress upon brand loyalty to make the task of the doctor easier.

Global Awards: How has advertising in the healthcare wellness sphere evolved in order to be millennial-friendly? Are more brands using geofencing, native advertising and content marketing?

Wendy Chan - One of the common traits for the millennials observed even in China is about the courage to ask for more and not accept any solutions as gospel truths preached by their doctors. Sharing information and ease of access to peer education has made them not only explore for more but evaluate and take informed decisions. Being the new healthcare consumer, they do engage in a 2-way communication with their doctors. Thus, healthcare advertising has become more benefit focused for patients, unearthing insights, feelings and habits that appeal to patients more using media specific content that helps them take well-judged decisions. When Brands are creating a space for preference, a mix of geofencing, localization and content marketing becomes key to success in China as communication needs to be adherent and sensitive to the local culture and preferences.

Health management needs ease of usage. We are witnessing the advent of new wearables and health apps almost every day in China. Thus, the everyday device which is a smart phone is probably the most important channel of communication and connect with the end user.

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? Is Wellness advertising increasing, if so, how has the market changed within the last few years?

Wendy Chan - I have no specific favorites but at the same time, China as a nation is a No.1 country in conditions like Diabetes. Alzhiemer’s, Arthritis and many more. Any change in the status of these sufferers towards making them live healthier has a large-scale influence on the society and the nation as a whole. I yearn to work to make an impact and make people live healthier lives. That is what I work for and what is what I believe in. Both Wellness and Pharma is seeing the end user of the products with the lens of a healthcare buyer/shopper. Thus, other than rules and regulations that apply more for pharma brands, the divide is slowly diminishing. As mentioned before Pharma brands like Wellness brands are making all efforts to gain brand loyalty whereas Wellness brands are using the science behind their product to not just create differentiation but make the consumers evaluate and choose basis knowledge, evidence and results.

The ‘Breath of Life’ campaign using a smart phone as a disease awareness tool sits on top of my mind as a good example of how a pharma brand is creating a market to make a meaningful difference to COPD sufferers. On the other hand, a furniture brand called IKEA is redesigning products based on human experience of the disabled. These are some examples of communication created by people for people wherein we are just the facilitators for the idea.

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? 

Wendy Chan: The bar of award of all category raises every year. If you look back at some awards that won 3 years ago, they may not even be shortlisted today. While on one hand, this has been a continuous phenomenon even for healthcare, today, we are all looking for innovation through simplicity, new ideas that are executable and actually can create a larger impact in terms of scalability and access. Coupled with that is the innovation factor that constantly strives to experiment with newer ways of execution to manage health with ease. Increased convenience is resulting in increased compliance and adherence. With these changes in the communication environment, there is one thing that does not change – the essential human nature. Being dynamic in every way possible, humans are often referred to as the most unpredictable race on earth. Because, in times of peace, they might need some excitement & in chaotic times, they might just need some hope.