Katie Dean

21GRAMS London

Katie Dean is an award winning Associate Creative Director for 21Grams London. 

She is a rare breed in healthcare - a scientist who doesn’t just think empirically. She started her career in science, but the creative pull proved too strong. It still does. She’s got her radar on for opportunities and sees them where others don’t. From the beginning her ambition and singular vision has been obvious, putting us on the spot by asking how, as two beardy blokes running a creative department, we would mentor a female creative. 

The first work she showed us was something she had done at her previous agency, the beautiful film for Teva that celebrated carers. It made us cry, simple as that. It’s since gone on the win at all the best award shows. And quite rightly. She somehow managed to write something with rare insight and emotion, then persuade the client to make it. You only have to watch it to see that it’s been crafted beautifully, something that often gets forgotten in healthcare comms. Katie’s skill is keeping the creative bar raised, right through production, chaperoning it through the process.

The other big thing she did recently was turn a patient information leaflet into something that change the way doctors interact with young children. Noticing the insight that children with juvenile arthritis, struggle to express pain, she was integral in creating a new way to express pain, using animals as examples. For instance, ‘pinching like a crab’, ‘like a sting from a buzzy bee’. Not content with just inventing the scale, they created a kid’s book, complete with rhyming line and clever illustrations to teach the children (and doctors) this new language. Even better they designed an Augmented Reality app that children could point at the part of their body in pain and add the appropriate AR animal. The bigger the animal, the more the pain. The book was also turned into an audio book to increase reach and accessibility. Very smart, mature thinking.

Even working remotely Katie has also been crucial to bonding a brand new creative department, paying particular attention and time to helping the junior creatives, straight out of university, to get as close as possible to the agency experience. It’s a testament to this devotion to them that they are mature beyond their years, and already presenting with confidence to clients. Katie also mentors and tutors students for Brixton Ac, and is always pushing us to do more work with universities on portfolio clinics, dummy briefs, or the like.

In 2021 Katie has also been a judge for D&ADs New Bloods and Cannes Young Lions. 

Katie, and her partner Becci, are much requested for briefs in the agency. They’re known for their feisty defence of creative and their easy way with senior clients. Now that’s not something you find very often. Raging creativity and political nous. 

She’s already a force to be reckoned with, she’s conquering creativity daily. And she’s only getting started. 

She’s currently working on some smart new ideas but due to confidentiality I can’t tell you about them yet. Look in next year’s award shows.