Kris LoCascio Honored as Agency Vanguard Award Winner

September 8, 2023

New York, NY, September 08, 2023 — Kris LoCascio, Executive Creative Director for leading healthcare marketing agency Heartbeat, has been recognized by Xpectives.Health as one of its annual Agency Vanguard Award Winners.

Xpectives.Health is one of the leading forums for direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising thought leaders. The Agency Vanguard Award recognizes standout agency team members who are driving innovation and improving patient communications. It is awarded to select agency executives for their extensive accomplishments, influence on future consumer health launches and campaigns, and contributions or service to patients and the overall DTC industry.

LoCascio received this honor following 15 remarkable years at Heartbeat and 20 years overall in the healthcare marketing industry. Throughout this tenure, he has been a driving force of innovation in an oft-stagnate industry, leading a multitude of award-winning advertising campaigns.

With a staggering stack of creds, LoCascio has worked with brands both big and small and on products both blockbuster and niche. His boundary-pushing influence can be seen across the entirety of Heartbeat’s portfolio, and his work has garnered more than 70 major industry honors. Most notably, LoCascio’s work for XenoPort’s Horizant earned more than 20 awards during the 4-year client engagement, including a Clio Award for Best Pharmaceutical Digital Campaign, a Med Ad News Manny Award for Best HCP Campaign, and an OMMA Award for the brand’s groundbreaking rich-media campaign.

Beyond his vast healthcare expertise that spans nearly every therapeutic category, Kris is also a skilled technologist with a wealth of knowledge about every corner of the online world. His efforts have opened doors to inventive methodologies that embrace emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning, all while upholding the exceptional craft that Heartbeat is renowned for.

Taking the Creative leadership reigns from Heartbeat President and current Chief Creative Officer, James Talerico, LoCascio is only the second person to hold the distinguished title of Executive Creative Director at the agency. Talerico noted that “Kris is a brilliant creative mind who will help all of us generate better, more compelling, more powerful communications — communications built to thrive in our multiplatform reality.”

LoCascio is the fifth Heartbeat executive to receive Agency Vanguard recognition. Group Creative Director Chris Whaites received the same distinction last year, following EVP of Marketing and Public Relations Janelle Starr in 2019, SVP of Strategy Hudson Plumb in 2018, and President & Chief Creative Officer James Talerico in 2017.

LoCascio and other Agency Vanguard Award recipients will be honored at a ceremonial dinner on October 27, 2023, at the W Hotel in Hoboken, New Jersey.

About Heartbeat
Heartbeat is a full-service agency for healthcare Challenger Brands. Challengers are playing a high-stakes game — they must battle behemoth market leaders, upend ingrained treatment habits, or transform a “me-too” product into “yes-please.”

The agency is known for serving up distinctive strategies and differentiating approaches, ensuring clients’ market positions are uniquely owned. Heartbeat designs its organization around a “100% Integration” model, housing media, strategy, med comms, creative, technology, and even point of care/population health under the same roof for the tightest, most integrated campaigns possible. It prices work based on outcomes, not outputs. Its innovative model delivers not only alignment but also powerful orchestration, greater efficiency, and maximum impact for every dollar spent—all the necessary elements for Challengers to triumph.

That’s the philosophy, here’s the creds: nearly 300 employees between NYC & LA; multiple agency leaders with decades of tenure; a pile of awards from the likes of the MANNYs, MM+M Awards, OMMAs, and Clios; an industry-leading commitment to diversity & inclusion (with a Med Ad News D&I Champion nod to match); and a President who dared to be quoted as follows, “We celebrate people who stand up and say, ‘You know what? This is dumb.'” Damn straight.

For more information about Heartbeat, please email