Cannes Lions winner: GSK wins top pharma prize for WeChat health testing tool

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GlaxoSmithKline shone a light on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease with a smart health camapign on WeChat in China, winning the top Cannes Lions Grand Prix in the pharma category in the process.


Case study summary

  • GSK turned mobile phones into a self-testing tool for a common lung condition

  • WeChat tool was aimed at the 100 million adults in China that are affected by Chronic COPD

  • Worked with doctors and Chinese blowing-ink artist to make tool results interesting and sharable for spreading awareness.
  • The challenge

    In China 100 million adults are affected by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), but less than 7% are properly diagnosed. So McCann Health turned the mobile phone into a COPD self-testing tool.

    The solution

    The campaign created the first ever COPD self-testing tool on WeChat aimed at the 100 million adults in China that are affected by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). By collaborating with a Pulmonologist and a popular Chinese blowing-ink artist, McCann Health Shanghai created a self-test tool that is interesting to use and sharable for spreading awareness.

    If users achieve a breath test score of less than 70%, the tool alerts them to undergo a hospital check-up. Users can share their bespoke tree artwork on social media to encourage more people to self-test.

    The results

    “COPD is one of the top three causes of death in China and it’s terribly underdiagnosed and undertreated. Breath of Life combines Chinese blow art, creative data visualization, and mobile technology into one irresistibly engaging diagnostic tool,” said Robin Shapiro, TBWA\WorldHealth, Global, and Jury President of the category. “This is highly personalized health engagement with scalable human impact and is the essence of life changing creativity which is what Cannes Lions Health is all about.”


    The Grand Prix went to GlaxoSmithKline “Breath of Life” for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Awareness. The campaign also won a Gold Lion.

    McCann Health Shanghai was also named Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the Year and Cannes Lions Healthcare Network of the Year went to McCann Health.

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