VMLY & R Awarded Pharma Grand Prix At Cannes For Innovative Voice-preserving Tech

Among 298 entries in the Pharma category this year, the innovative project designed to preserve the voices of patients who are losing home took the Grand Prix at Cannes on Monday.

One of the best ways to demonstrate the power of innovation is through the lives it touches. Such is the case with VMLY & R’s ad, ‘I Will Always Be Me,’ which earned the Pharma Grand Prix award at Cannes Lions on Monday. The spot, created for Dell Technologies and Intel, doesn’t spotlight a particular product, but rather shows how an innovative system can change the lives of people suffering from a rare terminal illness.

Motor neurone disease, or MND, is a disease that strikes people before they take their lives. For years, those with the condition could create a digital copy of their voice through a process known as ‘voice banking.’ The problem is that the process takes three months on average.

VMLY & R worked with Dell Technologies and Intel to create a new solution – a way to bank a voice through a short story. When reading aloud, the book helps people explain what they are experiencing, while creating a digital copy of their voice at a much faster speed.

The spot depicts people with the condition reading bits of the intensely raw book out loud. Some patients shed tears; others embrace loved ones. “Everything is changing, but I will always be me, and I will always love you,” says one person.

“This piece of work blew our minds [by] says Brett O’Connor, executive creative director at VCCP Health UK, who serves as the Cannes Pharma category jury president. “The genius behind the user experience to reduce the process down from three months to 30 minutes for what was just invaluable, especially at a time in their lives when every second counts.”

The new system, co-created with Rolls-Royce partners and the MND Association, helped increase the number of MND sufferers who banked their voices from 12% to 72%.

The Cannes Lions Festival started today and will run through June 24.

Check out all the big winners at Cannes this year.

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