Ode to the Future
A Marriage of Art, Science, and Technology
To celebrate Merck’s 350th anniversary, we conducted a unique musical experiment. Collaborating with acclaimed artist Mira Calix we used ultrasound to capture the movements of six unborn foetuses and turned the resulting data into audio frequencies – forming the basis for our Ode to the Future.
Background & Brief
Most companies would reminisce having turned 350 – not Merck. Instead the company focused on the future, celebrating the innovations and collaborations that will define the next 350 years of human progress. Our brief was to create a celebratory campaign which inspired global B2B audiences to explore and share personal visions for the future of science and tech.
To raise awareness for the Merck brand–and shift existing company perceptions from classic pharmaceuticals to vibrant science and technology–our strategy was simple: Inspire B2B audiences by documenting what’s possible when curious minds from diverse fields come together. This presented audiences with an opportunity to share personal visions with peers across the globe – further boosting brand awareness among leading industry figures.
In their 15th to 33rd week of pregnancy, we used ultrasound technology to scan and capture the individual movements of six unborn babies. A data sonification specialist transformed the resulting information into audio frequencies – forming the basis for Calix’s musical interpretation and accompanying visual installation piece. Performed by classical musicians, the ode is influenced by the living space of our unborn collaborators – with a classic percussionist creating atmospheric sounds on water. The ode was used as the soundtrack for a campaign film, documenting the unique collaboration that gave life to our original score.
Outcome & Results
The project left a lasting impression on science and technology audiences – showcasing the power of collaboration and inspiring hundreds of microsite visitors to share their personal visions – including three from Nobel prizewinners. In total, the campaign film racked up 38m views. The microsite also piqued people's curiosity recording an impressive average visit-time of four minutes!
New York Festivals
Gold (Film Craft: Best Original Music)
Golden Award of Montreux
Gold Medal (Corporate Film: Technique – Music)
Gold & People's Award (Internet Video: Music & Entertainment)
Best of Business-to-Business
Bronze (Corporate Digital Campaign