A PROJECT TO TURN DNA INTO ART AND ANSWERS
Autism Speaks approached BBDO for help with a landmark research project. Together with Google, the non-profit was going to sequence the genome of 10,000 individuals on the autism spectrum and then make that information available in the cloud for scientists around the world to research.
They needed a name. And a hook. And our help raising $10 million dollars to make the project a reality.
It was a beautiful idea — one that promised to find the missing answers to a puzzle that now afflicts one in 68 children worldwide. That's how we landed on the name MSSNG, and led us to team up with biochemist Linden Gledhill to create works of art from actual strands of DNA.
We created 10,000 individual photographs of DNA, which we turned into a gallery show, posters for sale on MSSNG.com, even a coffee table book.
On the web, visitors could learn about the project while exploring crystallized DNA through a virtual microscope—one that allowed them to create their own custom works of art.
We needed every dollar to go into research. So we used radio and online video to spread word of the launch. The radio spot featured an original composition based on real sequences of genetic code.