Cannes Lions


UM, New York / JOHNSON & JOHNSON / 2020


1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Johnson & Johnson recognizes the critical role played by frontline healthcare professionals in optimizing patient outcomes through quality medical care and life-changing emotional connections. It’s why for over 132 years, J&J has heavily invested in supporting nurses and front-line health care practitioners across the globe. Additionally, J&J has been committed to the treatment and eventual eradication of HIV/AIDS through cutting edge advancements in therapeutic medicine, via NGO partnerships in communities around the globe, and by standing alongside those who battle the disease first-hand.

Our objective was to connect with health-conscious people who believe that everyone, even the most vulnerable, deserves quality and compassionate healthcare, while championing J&J’s positioning in the nursing industry and positioning the brand as the global healthcare company that boldly fights for and stands in service of even the most challenging healthcare needs of humanity.


To produce 5B, J&J reallocated 20% their annual media budget and partnered with two award-winning Hollywood directors. In 2019, 5B sold to RYOT Films, a division of Verizon Media. The sale recouped 100% of J&J’s initial investment in the project, resulting in a net cost of $0 for J&J and reinvested the savings into our media budget dedicated to continue support of nurses.

5B told a story of nurses that was relatively unknown and didn’t have a cultural footprint yet. To create this desired cultural momentum, we developed a publicity strategy which partnered A-List celebrity activists with ward 5B nurses at interviews and screenings. To promote the film to key J&J stakeholders (nurses, J&J employees, LGBTQ+ community), J&J held advanced film screenings and utilized their extensive global network to market the film across different social and media channels.


In May 2019, 5B became the first brand-funded feature film to screen at Cannes Film Festival, where there was a red-carpet campaign which included appearances and interviews from celebrity activists such as Julianne Moore, Priyanka Chopra and Miles Tellers.

Through the sale to RYOT, 5B released in over 400 theaters nationwide, with screenings at PRIDE Week LA, World Aid’s Day and Global Citizen and received SVOD and VOD distribution on Amazon Prime Video and other major streamers.

During the theatrical run, we targeted audiences through television spots and interviews that paired celebrities with Ward 5B nurses, including a Julianne Moore appearance on the TODAY Show with Ward 5B head nurse Cliff Morrison and a Halle Berry interview alongside nurse Alison Moad at an LA Pride screening. In addition, we instituted another paid media campaign which promoted the film through cinema (ScreenVision, NCM) and radio (iHeart) placements in seventeen different markets.


5B and the surrounding campaign successfully boosted audience perception of nurses, with audiences more likely to describe nurses as:

• Heroic +12.2%

• Innovative +21.8%

• Skilled +7.6%

5B is one of only nine films from 2019 to maintain a 100% positive Rotten Tomatoes score. The film generated earned media from major publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post and People Magazine. Positive reviews flooded in from entertainment publications, such as Variety, Hollywood Reporter and San Francisco Chronicle.

Additionally, 5B still serves as an endorsement of J&J’s commitment to nursing and healthcare for all. Since its release, J&J has held more than 35 screenings for 4000+ stakeholders and employees, ranging from a World Aid’s Day screening to Pride Week to an event for HIV/AIDS policymakers in Washington DC. 5B was adopted into the curriculum of over 800 nursing schools, furthering establishing J&J’s role in bettering the future of nursing.

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