LabCentral is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide space, support, and resources for the next generation of biotech and life sciences innovators. Their affiliate team, Lab Central Ignite, is a one-of-its-kind platform that addresses systemic racial, gender, and other underrepresentation within the industry through the power of community. The “platform” provides lab space, support services, and other resources designed to help people from underrepresented communities find a career in this rapidly growing industry.
LabCentral was looking to develop an awareness campaign with the goal not only to address racial and gender equity in Life Sciences and BioTech, but to expand education and community awareness of the industries, including the breadth of career opportunities available.
We worked with our client to create a powerful public education campaign to promote awareness of the Life Sciences and Biotech industry and prove that there is space within it for everyone. For a long time, the industry has been dominated by whiteness, maleness, and uniformity. With the belief that diversity drives innovation and that new perspectives bring fresh ideas that can push the industry forward–adding new colors to the Life Science spectrum–Proverb developed “Life Sciences in Full Color”. This campaign aimed to highlight the full spectrum of individuals who can find their place in a Life Science or Biotech career. By showcasing real stories of underrepresented populations–particularly women and people of color–already working in the industry we were able to help people see themselves reflected in the industry, and understand that career opportunities in Life Sciences and BioTech don’t just exist for scientists; all types of positions are needed. One of our favorite quotes derived from stakeholder interviews was, “Any time I meet someone who hasn’t met a scientist who looks like me, it is a great opportunity to change their minds and change those stereotypes.” Nabiha Sakleyan, Phd. Founder of Cellino Bio
This campaign launched at the perfect time. Life Sciences and BioTech are growing fast, the market size was valued at USD 9.0 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6% from 2023 to 2030- outpacing the growth of the workforce and ultimately, these increased numbers will help Massachusetts retain its position as an epicenter for these industries. Our target geographies were: Lowell, Roxbury and Dorchester, MA because of their higher representation of target audiences.
We found that to build diversity within life sciences, our primary audiences should be professionals who are typically underrepresented in the life sciences; women, and people of color. The campaign targeted three types of audiences 1) professionals who may switch careers 2) high school students and parents of students interested in a career in the life sciences and 3) the unemployed and underemployed who were ready to be a part of this booming industry.
The campaign included a promotional video featuring Rudy Christmas as the storyteller. Rudy switched his career path from a semi-pro football player without a degree to a scientist, specifically, an in vivo pharmacologist. In the video, he tells his story and claims that he is, “passionate about disproving the stereotypes people have against me.” He mentions that he might not look or dress like a scientist, but he feels comfortable in his own skin and that he hopes his work might one day cure cancer. By telling an authentic story, from a real person, not a lab coat, the video can be used as a powerful tool to inspire any viewer to make that switch to a now more inclusive career in life sciences and biotech.
We measured success by tracking advertisement performance on social media channels, through Digital Ads, and OOH Ads, and by measuring visits to the new Lab Central Ignite microsite.
In total, the number of impressions across social media channels (Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) amounted to 819K with Twitter ads performing exceptionally above the industry average with a cost per click of just $0.03. The campaign also drove 30K unique visitors to the Lab Central Ignite website. The OOH ads were focused in neighborhoods rather than highway ads: these included bus ads, throughout subway cars, at train stations, community posters, etc. where foot traffic is high. These outdoor ads amounted to 7.9M impressions due to their key placements. Our digital ad impressions amounted to 8M impressions across a variety of networks and top sites like The Washington Post and Business Insider.