Ad Nut
May 14, 2019

Cheil touts stroke-detection app dubbed 'Fatal recognition'

Cheil Hong Kong's stroke-detection app may have good intentions, but it's clearly award bait. And not even original award bait at that.

'Fatal Recognition' may sound like the title of a noir thriller you'd find deep into an extended Netflix scrolling session. But it's actually an app, produced by Cheil Hong Kong along with The Hong Kong Stroke Association, that supposedly detects early signs of a stroke and offers to alert both emergency services and user-defined contacts.

The work has many of the hallmarks of award bait: It's being promoted in awards season, it's non-commercial and addresses a societal issue, it's on behalf of a relatively small organisation, it's got a case-study video... But as Ad Nut always says, award bait is not necessarily a bad thing. So let's look closer.

Not being a neurologist, Ad Nut has no clue whether the app works as advertised, but it's a solid idea. We modern creatures unlock our smartphones countless times per day, and harnessing the phone's front-facing camera and computing power to monitor health factors makes a lot of sense. And at least Cheil chose to work with an organisation that has relevant expertise, so we can hope that the effort is scientifically solid and evidence-based (unlike a questionable past piece of work from the same agency). Ad Nut hopes the app really works and that it helps people, or at least helps the organisation with its educational or fundraising efforts. That said, it would be nice to see more proof of the app's legitimacy and efficacy. 

The idea is by no means original, so Ad Nut can't really see it being very effective as award bait. Which puts Ad Nut in the strange position of complaining that an agency didn't do a good enough job creating something specifically to appeal to awards juries. On the other hand, Ad Nut supposes there's a chance the agency did the work purely for altruistic reasons, and only later thought of entering it for awards. Anything's possible.

This post is filed under...
Award baitWhen it comes to purpose-driven work meant to win awards, some is actually good. But some is very, very bad. Read about examples of both types in this collection.


Creative Director: Paul Chan, Wilson Ang
Art Director: Max Fung, Edmond Leung, Sam Chow, Matthew Yuen, Cherry Lo
Copywriter: Molly Man
Account Director: Denise Chan

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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