A picture is worth a thousand words. We’ve all heard that cliché. But when a brilliantly conceived and executed visual comes alive in advertising, we can’t help but notice. The stories these visuals tell evoke empathy, pose challenges, and dramatize benefits in a compelling and provocative way.

Rich Angelini is creative director at HYC Health.

See also: 9 under the radar healthcare agencies to watch in 2017

Brand: World Cancer Day
Sponsor: Hoje em Dia
Agency: Filadélfia Comunicação

We see the lungs and an instant later the dominoes. Those lungs are about to crash; in fact, as we look closer, we can see the beginning of that disaster as the first two dominoes are falling. We can hear the sound and visualize the result. “Cancer spreads quickly” is a quiet headline, but the visual has already told us that story.

Brand: New Ark Mission of India
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Heartbreaking power — a child dressed in garbage. Winter Collection pushes us to consider the plight of one-third of the people of Karnataka, India, and contrast that with our own comfort. The starkness of the image and the girl’s tentative expression and posture force us to embrace a distressing reality and ponder her future. “What can I do?” The answer is simple: Donate your old clothes.

Brand: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
Sponsor: Allergan
Agency: LehmanMillet (now Precisioneffect)

Elegant, beautiful simplicity. We simultaneously see a nude woman and the breast cancer ribbon. This visual elevates both singularities as it reminds us that a ribbon stands for breast cancer awareness, and that breast cancer happens to people. The headline lands the concept on the idea of hope. Beautiful.

Brand: Purell
Company: Gojo Industries
Agency: J. Walter Thompson Sydney

It’s kind of freaky, but you can’t ignore it. Sometimes, a visual is designed to shock and grab attention. Is he pulling on a latex glove or pulling his skin? Yes to both! And that’s the point. Purell provides the same protection as a glove…on your skin. There’s zero copy — talk about visuals with a voice!

Brand: FATH: Argentine Transplant Foundation
Agency: DDB Argentina

We see a bag of trash in the shape of a human heart. Why? The Argentine Transplant Foundation reminds us with this simple visual that if we are not an organ donor, we are throwing away our most precious gifts. The call to action commands attention and tells the viewer exactly what to do. Stop wasting life.

Brand: Champix NZ
Company: Pfizer
Agency: BCG2 Health, Auckland

Quitting smoking is hard. Patients feel trapped. Champix found an empathetic approach to capture this idea. A cigarette tip is transformed into an unsolvable maze. We see patients trapped, searching for liberation. The headline promises: “There is a way out.” And we feel relief knowing there might be a solution to that maze after all.