Photo credit: Katie Henry

Frank Mazzola says healthcare advertising is currently having a watershed moment—and its time playing second fiddle to “real” advertising has ended.

“It used to be that people cringed at the thought of healthcare advertising,” he says. “It was the stepchild of ‘real’ advertising. But now, I think we’re in the midst of a renaissance where people are finally seeing what the rest of us loved about it all along. Healthcare is the best opportunity to do life-changing creative.

“Look at some of the most striking ideas that won at Cannes this year,” Mazzola says, “These are ideas that are bigger than advertising…Creative problem-solving at its finest, affecting people’s lives in profound ways. This is healthcare. It’s fertile ground, you just have to know what to do with it.”

To that end, Mazzola says that McCann HumanCare is poised to take advantage of healthcare’s lush palette. “There is an ambition and a hunger here, to not only do great work but to innovate [the] healthcare industry,” he says. “And my ability to help shape that, in this role, is an extremely exciting challenge.”

Mazzola will be aided in that challenge by Auge Reichenberg, McCann’s executive creative director, along with Jeremy Perrott, chief creative officer, and Rob Reilly, global creative chairman of McCann Worldgroup. “My work has to live up to their standards, so I can’t think of a better place to learn and evolve as a creative,” he says.

Mazzola joined McCann from another healthcare agency, GSW, where he held the same role.

Mazzola found his own way into healthcare advertising while carrying the bag in medical sales, after he graduated from college. “Over time, I realized that I could get more business creating ads and sending them out to my territory than knocking on doors,” he says. “Eventually, I created a spec portfolio, went on an interview with FCB and the rest is history.”

For those looking for their own entry point into what they love, Mazzola advises: “Only do the kind of work you’re proud of—creating something you love is always worth it,” and, “no matter what you do, care more and work harder than everyone else and it will be impossible not to succeed.”