branding a global award

Sanford Health

It’s not every day that a leading healthcare organization launches a $1 million medical research award. So when they do, they do it big.

Sanford Health has partnered with L&S since 2018 to introduce and build on the story of the Sanford Lorraine Cross Award. This $1 million honor is awarded to a medical innovator biannually for pioneering a transformative change in healthcare.

Directed to both a consumer and national medical research audience, our messaging focuses on one takeaway: when someone wins the Sanford Lorraine Cross Award, we all win. Because, as the stories of our nominees show, the entire world benefits from the impact of medical innovation.

  • 2017-2021
  • Hospital Marketing Midwest Finalist
  • 35th Annual Healthcare Advertising Award
  • ADDY Award: Best of Show, Cross Platform Campaign
  • ADDY Award: Best of Class, Cross Platform Campaign
  • ADDY Award: Best of Class, Elements of Advertising
  • ADDY Award: Best of Class, Interactive
  • ADDY Award: Judges' Choice
  • ADDY Award: Gold, Event Invitation
  • ADDY Award: Gold, Nominee Box
  • District 8 ADDY Award: Silver, Campaign
  • District 8 ADDY Award: Silver, Photography
  • Aster Award: Bronze, Total Advertising Campaign
  • Aster Award: Gold, TV/Video Advertising Sales
  • Telly Award: Silver, Non-broadcast Video
  • Telly Award: Silver, Branded Content Series
  • MM&M Award Finalist: Corporate Branding Campaign
  • W3 Award: General Websites - Non-Profit
  • W3 Award: General Video: Documentary Series

When someone wins the Sanford Lorraine Cross Award, we all win.

Print Piece | Sanford Lorraine Cross
Sanford Lorraine Cross Award Half Page Advertisement
Sanford Lorraine Cross Award Mobile Website
Sanford Lorraine Cross Award Native Article on Keloland

When research wins, we all win

A lot goes into launching a global award. So let’s back up a bit. While concepting for the award launch, we were excited about what made the Sanford Lorraine Cross Award different. It’s not about theoretical musings or budding theories – it’s about real impact that people can feel today. It’s truly an award for us all.

Because of this, messaging focused on the “we all win” concept, explaining that when research, science and innovation win, we all do. The campaign’s central images – a variety of striking, global faces – were captured by the L&S team and photography partners to show the individual impact of this worldwide award. These faces became the centerpiece of the campaign for the award’s launch, bringing national attention from both consumer and medical audiences.

turning science into stories

Most medical awards honor complex theories that mean little to the average patient. But when Sanford Lorraine Cross Award nominees are selected, their innovations mean big changes for the world of medicine. From curing blindness to curing leukemia, the science behind each winner and nominee story is amazing. And so are the stories.

The science is amazing. So are the stories.

looking at science
Nominee Box | Sanford Lorraine Cross

Honoring the Nominees

When nominees are selected, Sanford Health reaches out with the help of L&S, sending each nominee a sleek, custom box designed to hold an iPad with a video message of congratulations, sweet treats and award documents.

In 2018 and 2020, our team hit the road to film documentary videos chronicling the discoveries of each nominee. In 2020, that included Dr. Carl June (a pioneer in CAR T-cell therapy), Dr. Michael Welsh (who created the roadmap for cystic fibrosis treatments) and Dr. Mark Denison (a coronavirus expert who uncovered Remdesivir). Filming medical leaders on hospital campuses in the middle of a pandemic was a tall order, but with a plan and plenty of N95s we pulled it off.  From Nashville to Iowa to Philadelphia, we traveled the country to meet these physicians, their peers and their families to translate their scientific innovations into compelling stories.

taking photos behind the scenes
aerial shot of trees in a circle
taking photos behind the scenes
Lorraine Cross nominee
Lorraine Cross nominee
Lorraine Cross nominee
Lorraine Cross nominee
Lorraine Cross magazine

The campaign also included regional media around the Sanford footprint and a national media campaign aimed at the business and medical community. In addition to impactful digital units, we placed full-page ads, advertorial content and booklet inserts into pubs like Fortune and Forbes. Each story was told at

Lorraine Cross website
Lorraine Cross native article
Sanford Lorraine Cross Website
Sanford Lorraine Cross Website
Sanford Lorraine Cross Website
Lorraine Cross website

historic winners, celebrated in blue

Though each nominee blew us away, Dr. Carl June took home the 2020 honor after a vote from the Sanford International Board. Dr. June’s CAR T-cell therapies have cured patients with certain types of leukemia and lymphoma, including Emily Whitehead. Her amazing story – and many others – have given the cancer community hope towards a cure. And it continues to make headlines today.

Dr. June and his fellow nominees were honored at an event in Sioux Falls where our team was on-hand to help with a unique pop-up invitation, signage, menu cards, show production, video content, graphics and more. This event, along with the ceremony held in 2018, helped elevate the Lorraine Cross Award to a global level and bring important researchers, donors and influencers together for a winning cause.

Sanford Lorraine Cross Event
Lorainne Cross event
Lorraine Cross event
finger gun at Lorainne Cross event
Lorainne Cross event
Lorainne Cross event
Lorainne Cross event
Denny laughing at Lorainne Cross event

moving medicine forward, for us all

The result? Discoveries and hope for thousands of patients. And the successful launch of a worldwide medical prize that has earned a few awards itself, including ADDYs Best of Show and healthcare honors like the Aster Awards. We were also flattered to be named a finalist at the MM&M Awards in New York City, where our co-nominees included Merck and Johnson & Johnson. We can’t wait until the next award period to see what future discoveries lie ahead. Now that’s a win.

The result? Hope for patients. And numerous awards for a compelling campaign.

Lorainne Cross nominees

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