Medtronic

This is a hard one to explain. It's a project I'm proud of because the cause is as important as it is personal. 

Here's why it's important: Lung cancer kills more people than breast, prostate, and colon cancer combined. It's the biggest cancer killer. In fact, it's about the equivalent of a 747 get falling out of the sky every day. We've all seen how crazy we get about plane crashes, yet this disease is a grossly unfunded and unsupported because it's unfairly considered a "Sinners disease". 

And that's why it's personal: While working on this project both my Girlfriend and my Father were diagnosed with forms of cancer. And I myself had cancer when I was 19. My Mother has smoked relentlessly since she was 12. It's a miracle she hasn't been diagnosed yet. So, I took this project very seriously. It was refreshing to work on something that does some good in the world.

You see, the problem is that it's hard to diagnose and therefore is almost always found too late to do anything about it. To get that biopsy they stab you with a big needle, which half of the time deflates your lung. Many people have major surgery just to find out that it wasn't even cancer. It sucks. 

But this device goes down the throat and navigates to a tumor using what is essentially 3D Lung GPS. No cutting. From there the surgery team can biopsy, diagnose (and soon) destroy the cancer all in one session. The patient goes home with a sore throat. It's incredible.

So this concept is about access. It's about vision. I came up with the clear lung as their brand positioning and key art for 4 reasons.

  1. If you can see it, you can fix it. The lung is no longer in a cage. 
  2. It's an elegant solution in a fragile environment. 
  3. Medtronic has the vision to solve this complex mess. 
  4. When you've been free of cancer for 5 years they say you're "Free & Clear". That's the ultimate goal. 

Pushing a concept like this through a large, complex company is challenging - especially in the midst of a huge re-brand. This project took nearly a year to complete. It was a grind, but I had great teammates and we stayed firm with our vision. By the time we were done, we didn't just make the cover of a brochure. We created everything from a real, blown glass lung for the Medtronic lobby to designing the software the surgeons use during the procedure itself. 

As the key speaker at the lung cancer seminar said speaking of innovation, "Yes, we do this for the patients. We do this for our industry as well. We do this for our parents and friends. But ultimately, we pursue excellence for ourselves; because there is only one thing for certain - someday we'll all be patients."