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600,000 Years of Health Communications

Flash back 600 thousand years & deconstruct the world’s first public health campaign. Learn how cave paintings were the prototype for sharing life-saving health messages.

Visual storytelling was (and still is) an effective way to share health messages. The story is illustrated in comic panels. We’ll share an entertaining tale about Grok, a caveman who uses cave paintings to teach his tribe to survive. Grok’s medical messages spread virally across multiple mediums, including mobile (leaves & rocks).

The story reveals Grok as a pioneer health educator who taught his people how to stay alive by avoiding poisonous berries & saber-tooth tigers.

And through Grok, modern communicators will learn how content strategy, health messaging, & visual branding hasn’t changed much in 600,000 years. You may be surprised what a Neanderthal can teach you about motivating patients.

It’s about storytelling. And we’re motivated by stories…because we’re all descendants of Grok.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Why is visual storytelling (e.g., cave painting) an effective storytelling technique and what health communicators can gain from simple, visual communications?
  2. Why are viral, social, and mobile messaging essential for health communications (i.e., you can’t get everyone to the cave)?
  3. What can modern health communicators learn from cavemen about experimentation, analysis, and optimization?
  4. How do you simplify a health message so that it transcends educational levels, language barriers, and cultural experiences?
  5. Why should you avoid poisonous berries and saber-tooth tigers?



Buddy Scalera, SVP Interactive Content & Market Research, Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide

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