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Cannes Lions 2018: TBWA\India wins Lions Health Grand Prix for Good

The agency has been recognised for creating the world’s first eye sign language for paralysed patients who cannot speak

Among many innovative solutions from across the globe, TBWA\India stood out with its work titled ‘Blink to Speak’ and bagged the top honour – Lions Health Grand Prix for Good.

Blink to Speak is the world’s first eye sign language created for paralysed patients who cannot speak. It is a set of 50 commands which can be used by anyone to speak with their eyes.

Elated with the top honour for the work his agency has created, Govind Pandey, CEO, TBWA\India, said, “Disruption helps make the world a better place and one idea at a time can make the huge difference. We need to believe that ideas can truly help humanity, move the world forward.”

TBWA\India’s work solves the problems of millions of patients who survive for years with no power to express with the world's first eye language for patients who have an alert mind but a paralysed body.

“The ‘Blink to Speak’ eye language guide was created for the non-profit organisation Asha Ek Hope Foundation and NeuroGen Brand and Spine Institute, after several months of research with doctors, patients and caregivers to ensure the guide would make a real difference to those people’s lives who are struggling with speech,” csaid, Parixit Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer, TBWA\India.

Health Grand Prix for Good Jury President Rajesh Mirchandani, Chief Communications Officer, United Nations Foundation, said, “The award is designed to recognise creative achievements that promote the advance of social good and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. To do this, we must come up with ideas that are scalable and reach the furthest left behind. We got chills when we saw ‘Blind to Speak’. We were impressed with its simplicity and its ability to inspire and empower.” 

Bhattacharya further said, “To win the Grand Prix For Good at Cannes is testament to the power of this solution and is true to Cannes’ reputation of awarding creativity that makes a real difference. We accept this honour on behalf of Neurogen and Asha Ek Hope Foundation who were always passionate and supportive throughout the process helping to bring this intellectual property to life.”

An estimated 60 million patients around the world live for many years with ALS, MNDs, spinal cord injuries, brain strokes and partial paralysis. And their biggest battle against these fatal disorders is the simple act of communication.

Using the power of eyes, the team at TBWA devised a way to help these patients. With the help of patients and doctors, a specific message was assigned to basic eye actions, covering the most common phrases needed in daily life.

Blink To Speak uses 50 simple eye movements to build an extensive eye language. They assigned simple messages commonly needed by patients to basic combinations of eye movements. They created very easy to use sets of eye actions using the eight alphabets of the eye language – Shut, Blink, Left, Right, Up, Down, Roll and Wink.

With Blink To Speak, patients were able to express needs and desires. Starting with basicactions like Yes, No, I'm okay, they can easily learn the language in a span of two to three months,depending on their health condition. With a simple One Wink they can ask their family to talk to them. And with One Left Wink, One Right Wink, Two Blinks, they can say 'Thank You' to their doctor. They can even notify their family about any danger or emergency.

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