DDB at SXSW Spotlight: Cheryl Horsfall, DDB New York

Cheryl Horsfall, Executive Creative Director of DDB New York, shared her thoughts and expectations about her upcoming Forum for Good Meet Up on March 11th from 2pm-3pm at the JW Marriott in Austin. Read the interview below, and make sure to come to the Meet Up if you’ll be at SXSW!

You’re hosting the Forum For Good Meet Up on March 11th. What’s it about? What would you like to see happen during it?

It’s all about reaching people to help them make better healthcare decisions. As people who craft communications regarding something as important as one’s own health, it’s our obligation to provide information and experiences that truly help people. Healthcare advertising has and needs to continue to do more than just sell the next drug or product.

For this Meet Up, I’d love for other agency people, MedTech start ups, and clients to all show up and share knowledge of their successes in the pharmaceutical/healthcare world. The more connections that can be applied to our current clients, the better! Regardless, we all have a vested interest in each others’ successes and breaking through to make an impact in an industry rife with restrictions.

Is there a specific reason why you decided on making the Forum for Good a Meet Up rather than a panel?

Meet Ups are relatively new offerings, and I wanted to use creative examples from DDB’s network to springboard conversations. Additionally, Meet Ups are a less formal and more fun way of getting like-minded people together. And we’re providing beer to help break the ice and get people sharing. Bonus!

Will you have any guests with you?

The Meet Up will be hosted by myself and Alexander Rea (Creative Technology Officer, DDB NY).

What do you hope your attendees walk away with after your session?

Connections and possibilities: I hope the energy around “life-changing creativity” (to take a phrase from Cannes Health) is amplified and applied.

Why is this topic important to you?

I have a strong belief that healthcare work has the potential to improve life and longevity. Our clients want to be digital and social, so we need to keep pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in healthcare communications. The ever-increasing use of technology to help people live healthier lives and make better healthcare decisions is an ongoing passion of mine. For the past several years, I’ve been on the Advisory Board for the SXSW Interactive, and hadn’t seen a “meeting of the minds” on the books yet.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s SXSW festival?

The unexpected! Attending programming or stumbling upon something in the MedTech expo, a by-chance meeting that at first glance feels unrelated to healthcare, etc. These moments often turn into something I can pull through and use throughout the year as we push our clients towards more innovation and patient experiences.  In the past, I have found that this is how I get fodder and inspiration that I lean on through the following year. Creativity is all about surprising connections – you can’t make those if you only expose yourself to the usual inputs.

Madison Seely Corporate Communications Associate DDB North America