There’s a global obsession with ‘getting back to normal’, but perhaps we should consider an alternate view. Do we really want to keep looking back? I think not. We now face a historic opportunity to reimagine health communications. Maybe, just maybe, lockdown was the push we needed to get to a new normal where digitisation, data and technology are fully let loose on health. The world’s eyes are fixed on our sector – people have never been more engaged in their health. So we must not waste the moment. With the chance to transform health through creativity well within our grasp, we cannot settle for going ‘back to normal’.
Today we are readier than ever for change. For months we’ve been living with the uncertainty of what will happen tomorrow, with each day different from the one before. There’s been no space for routine; an invisible enemy has bullied us out of our comfort zones and forced us to do everything differently. There’s no denying that it’s been hard – but it’s also given us a canvas for creativity that the agency world has willingly explored.
Confinement has always been a route to introspection, concentration and imagination that can enhance the creative process. Lockdown has compelled us to be more imaginative in every single one of our agencies’ processes, and it’s been a huge boost for creativity and ideas. Think about it.
We all have shown truly amazing adaptability. We’ve been able to rethink and recreate our campaigns – to adapt them to the needs of the moment, to new channels and new consumption habits. Almost overnight. And with all of us working alone from our homes. We’ve had to improvise meeting rooms, find new ways of communicating, and present proposals that surprise our customers without the magic of live performance. We have learnt how to work with the usual pressures of tight timings with the added handicaps of global uncertainty and the total disruption of family life. In short, we have had to change to adapt to a new reality.
And the result has been extraordinary. That’s right, extraordinary – a word that, curiously, means exactly the opposite of normal. Shouldn’t we try to do things differently more often? Maybe we can learn from the creativity we’re deploying to get through the pandemic, and use our learnings to transform health communications. I truly believe that this New Normal should have more ‘New’ than ‘Normal’. If we can achieve that, it will mean we’re doing really creative, extraordinary work.