FleishmanHillard has been awarded two silver lions for PR at Cannes Health Lions for its work on the Philips Breathless Choir. The lions were awarded by the pharmaceutical jury under the corporate communications and medical devices and diagnostics categories.
The choir brought together a group of 18 people in New York for whom breathing is a constant challenge, and documented their journey through a series of films, as they conquered their fears and defied everyone’s expectations by undertaking the impossible: learning to sing.
Celebrity choirmaster, Gareth Malone, led the group, each of whom is living with a chronic respiratory condition. The choir’s transformation culminated in a performance where the choir sang the classic song ‘Every Breath You Take’ in front of their emotional family and friends.
Philips client lead Orla Burke, Director, FleishmanHillard Ireland along with Senior Client Managers Carol Donaghy and Shane Lennon led the campaign with support from the broader FleishmanHillard network.

“The Breathless Choir completely debunks the myth that healthcare communications has to be devoid of creativity due to the stringent regulatory environment in which these products operate. Our PR programme brought a human face to those living with respiratory problems, was highly creative and gained visibility and awareness around the world. The incredibly moving campaign gained more than 15 million views across platforms, had a 20% share rate, and earned 650M+ media impressions,” said Orla Burke.
The FleishmanHillard team supports Philips Global Brand work as part of an integrated communications team with Ogilvy & Mather London. Ogilvy were awarded a further four lions including the Grand Prix for their work on the choir.

“The Philips Breathless Choir was part of a campaign to change perceptions of the Philips brand, shifting from its traditional image as an electronics company, to its present day status as a healthcare organisation that improves lives through meaningful innovations. The choir is a great example of meaningful innovation that can actually improve people’s lives. The PR programme ensured that the Choir had visibility and awareness not just in the U.S. where it was launched on World COPD Day but around the world,” said Eva Barrett, Global Head of Brand Marketing Communications at Philips.

The Cannes Lions Awards are recognised as the most prestigious awards of the communications industry throughout the world. FleishmanHillard was the first Irish PR agency to win a Cannes Lion PR Award for Creativity when it won a bronze award for its outstanding P&G campaign during the London 2012 Olympics. FleishmanHillard is still the only Irish PR agency to have won at Cannes Lions.