How Thermo Fisher turned cells into art to rejuvenate brand perception

By Awards Analyst | The Drum Awards

June 20, 2022 | 4 min read

Transiris/Retina and Thermo Fisher Scientific won in the Health and Pharma category at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022 for their campaign ‘The Art of Cells’. Here, we find out more about what went into this successful project...

The brief

Thermo Fisher Scientific is a global leader in scientific instrumentation, reagents, consumables, software and services to healthcare, life science and other laboratories. A Fortune 500 company, the organization employs over 75,000 people and generates annual revenue of $35bn.

Within Thermo Fisher Scientific’s portfolio of brands is Gibco, which pioneered the science of cell culture techniques and applications nearly six decades ago and is generally recognized as the industry standard among biotech, academic and pharmaceutical research professionals.

Though seen as essential and reliable, brand perceptions of Gibco’s innovation waned, as did awareness of Gibco’s extensive value beyond its products.

Also absent from Gibco’s marketing was the deep emotional bond its customers have with the brand and their cells. At the same time, the brand lacked in-market consistency as disparate marketing campaigns had proliferated different messages and visual approaches.

The idea

The mission was to put scientists and their love for cells at the center of the campaign, featuring experience-driven content that would be social and viscerally emotional at the core.

Transiris/Retina recognized that there is more to being a cell research scientist than just microscopes and Petri dishes. To illustrate this, cell research scientists from all over the world were introduced to artists and asked to create a piece of cell art together.

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The result was a digital experience called ‘The Art of Cells’. Transiris/Retina recruited half a dozen cell scientists, who shared their passion for cells and the details of their work in a written letter to their cells. These scientists were then paired with world-class artists who, through their own personal medium, translated the science into an artistic expression.

The artists turned the battle of cancer and the immune system into a song, as well as turning a complex biological process into an immersive VR experience. They wrote a poem about the future of overcoming cancer in underserved communities of color and knitted the first stages of life into an embroidered sculpture.

The campaign ran across video platforms such as YouTube, digital display, programmatic display, email and both organic and paid social media (Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn), with artist and scientist profiles, as well as all documentary videos and artwork, housed on Gibco Cell Culture content hub.

The results

To date, the campaign has delivered record results for Gibco, which include a 60%+ YOY growth for new contacts 60m impressions, 1m+ video views and climbing, a 71% average video engagement rate and a 250% increase in accounts reached, attributable to LYC/AOC video content.

On social media, a 68% growth in impressions was attained as well as 67% growth in social followers, 650% increase in direct web traffic, 110% growth in SEO-driven traffic, 73% growth in traffic attributable to social and five-times the industry average clickthrough rates on digital advertising.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022. You can see all the winners here.

And check out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

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