Why Brands Need To Ditch The ‘Sell’ And Find The ‘Give’

Why Brands Need To Ditch The ‘Sell’ And Find The ‘Give’

In this guest post, Hugh Fitzhardinge (pictured below), creative director at Sydney’s Ward 6 (who specialise in healthcare clients) says brands need to ditch the ‘sell’ and discover the ‘give’…

Healthcare communication has the potential to change behaviour in a very significant way. Sadly, much of it’s bland and bogged down by heavy content. But we can do better. Now’s the time for brands to raise their voices.

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Consumers are increasingly going online to resolve their medical issues and that’s changing the healthcare landscape in ways we might not have imagined several years ago. Some healthcare professionals are being taken by surprise when this newly empowered patient walks into their pharmacy or surgery, while others are embracing the new level of engagement.

One reason brands should become more active in this new environment is that while Dr Google may provide an almost limitless supply of healthcare information and ‘advice’, much of it is inaccurate and not designed for Australian consumers.

The beautiful thing about healthcare advertising is that we have a lovely and important message to deliver. Or to paraphrase the Cannes Festival of Creativity Lions Health mantra, we can deliver “life changing creativity”.

In many cases we’re dealing with a product that “gives back”. It’s easy to think of some other categories in the world of advertising where it would be considered a joke to suggest the product was going to change a consumer’s life in a genuinely meaningful way. But with many healthcare brands, we really can say that. It means we have the chance to develop great content that goes deeper than mainstream brands and we’re at our best when we go well beyond traditional media.


Healthcare promotion can be complicated. That’s usually when it’s at its worst. The best healthcare advertising uses simplicity as its benchmark.


A wonderful example of a big, bold idea is “Shadow Wi-Fi” from the Peruvian League Against Cancer. Simple and brilliant. Beach goers get free Wi Fi but only if they remain in the shade of a specially constructed wall. Shareable, talkable and a warm message to get people to think about protecting themselves from the sun and the effects of it. This is a classic case of a brand giving, not selling, and that is a wonderful place for a brand to be.

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