Communicating in healthcare provision is as serious as health itself.
A matter of life and death in the most literal sense. Creative consultants in this sector might feel a ping of envy as we watch another shampoo ad’s ridiculous CGI ‘science’ and wish the creative opportunities were as wide-open to us. But they aren’t, and rightly so. That shampoo firm’s lawyers can deal with a few angry letters from limp-haired customers who’ve learned that ‘Super-Neural Oxidisation’ isn’t a thing.
But if we were to be similarly cavalier with the facts in *actual* healthcare communication, we could kill people. It’s an immense responsibility, and at GIG it’s our huge privilege to work on finding the right means to make sure the message is as safe as the medicine.
Just because our subject matter is serious doesn’t mean we have to be too.
It’s in our nature to crave delight and surprise, and the timeless balance between comedy and tragedy, light and dark, has informed human storytelling for millennia. Finding that balance in healthcare communications means staring down that regulator and asking them why we aren’t allowed to raise a smile just because we’re talking about cancer. Because people with cancer know only woe? Because we’ll irritate them flippancy? Because it’s a disservice to the gravity of their condition? Very funny.
We’re not just talking about comedy here.
There’s a time and a place for humour, and many more times and places to leave it out. But vibrant colours, beautifully designed imagery and sounds, writing that has real voice… all of these things can lift a medicine just as much as a running shoe or a soft drink. If anything, more so.
The messages we’re trusted to tell in healthcare communications are as human as it gets. It’s on us to make sure the medium does them justice.
So let’s lighten up a little.