Virtual Brand Forum

Merck

Merck Healthcare is the global healthcare business of Merck KGaA. Every year, they engage their global country and regional brand teams around the world in their global brand strategy and plans.

In previous years, a global meeting (the Brand Forum) was hosted to achieve this objective. However, in 2018, the commercial and financial environment meant that a face to face meeting was not feasible.

The recipients of the brand plans are the five regions/66 country marketing and sales management teams whose task is to shape their market strategy using the global plans as the basis.

The Brief: touch associates was tasked with achieving the same outcome as previous global forums, yet with only 30% of the budget in a way that still remained engaging, motivating and inspiring for employees.

The way we SEE it

Strategy:
A virtual meeting platform (vBF) providing a flexible mobile and web interface to enable global participation.

Expression:
A gamification strategy that encouraged the audience to ‘play’ and compete in virtual live leader boards, as well as a virtual conference that felt like a Merck event and was inspired by their Innovation Centre in Darmstadt. The content was created in relevant yet unexpected ways, to drive engagement and interaction.

Execution: Content hosted on the portal was released in waves across six weeks, updating users every two weeks. More than 30 videos and animations were created for the portal. The global brand plans themselves were recorded in the style of ‘newsroom’ or ‘chat show’ videos in a way that was accessible and entertaining. A live townhall streamed via the portal gave participants the opportunity to hear about the strategic direction of the business from senior management and ask questions live. Other activations included four Franchise Rooms, the Brand Olympics and a Knowledge Forum.

The Good Stuff

SILVER AWARD:
Best Healthcare Event, EVCOM 2019

BRONZE AWARD:
Technology, EVCOM 2019

SHORTLISTED:
Best Use of Technology, C&IT Awards 2019

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