Global BioTech Investment Company

A both hugely emotional and personalized approach to contact persons of the highest caliber in the BioTech segment

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A leading global pharmaceutical company trusted us in 2016 with the recruitment of a Chief Financial Officer for their then newly launched life-science division. The mission consisted in finding,
contacting and - ideally - hiring persons of the highest caliber, focusing on the biotech epicenters both in the US (Boston and San Francisco) and Europe (Zurich). In order to do so, the task was about exploring unusual ways of approaching the identified top-notch profiles off the beaten track commonly built on by large recruitment firms. The exercise was even more challenging since the targeted talents were mostly known as rather reluctant to join a large global player: They would rather prefer to freelance or join forces with more agile organizations. We were hence mandated to convince the candidates to trustfully enter such a big structure and to take on the responsibility for a nascent innovative speedboat, by creating an unseen, highly aspirational recruitment tool.

Concept & Methodology

In close coordination with the leading recruitment firm Russel Reynolds, we developed a both hugely emotional and personalized approach to contact the short-listed persons from Russel
Reynolds’ talent pool. The final concept materialized in a high-value iPad-turned-book that was directly sent to the different candidates through a personal messenger. In collaboration with a Berlin based manufacture, we produced a white book in an A4 format, in which an iPad was organically embedded. Once you opened the book, the iPad would turn on, with the initial screen asking the candidate to please use the three spheres, that were also built into the book, to unlock the iPad. Once laid on the cells visualized on the iPad, these spheres would then decode and release a personalized message by the new venture’s CEO. In this short film clip, the CEO personally addresses to the respective candidate by his/her name and explains in a quite mystical and futuristic setting both the purpose and mission of the emerging life-science unit. At the end of this film, the CEO asks the candidate whether he/she wants to be part of the mission and to join him on board of this new entity. The talent could then decide whether to put one of the spheres on the appearing blue or red cell. In the latter case, he/she would be told: „We then change the world without you.“; in the former case, he/she would read on the screen „You will be contacted from us.“ In this case, the CEO would be notified in real time via e-mail and could immediately call the respective candidate by phone (on the number that he would be beforehand provided with by Russell Reynolds). One of the most appealing features of the iPad-turned-book was the personalized film by the CEO that could only be watched once. In a true James Bond manner, the video was immediately deleted after being played for the first time. When you would open the book afterwards, only the company logo would show on the iPad screen. In order to deliver the desired functions, the iPad needed to be specifically coded as it should not display the proprietary locked welcoming screen once the book was opened, but should rather directly be switched on. The three spheres must be specially produced and whetted so that they would emit the needed signal to unlock the iPad once being laid onto the screen. This unparalleled mechanism was the result of a phenomenal collaboration of specialists from different fields and with different competencies.

Output & Impact

This thoroughly emotionalized and extraordinary approach was not only hitherto unseen within the recruitment industry, but above all also highly successful: All five candidates that received the
iPad-turned-book eventually opted for the blue cell: They wished to be contacted for further discussion and one of them actually got the job in the end.
We were responsible for both the creative conception and production of the iPad-turned-book, which included:

• Creative conception of all elements that needed to be specifically produced (especially the three spheres that served as the mnemonic device of the life-science incubator since they were
physically embedded into the book, but they were also held in the hand by the CEO within the personalized film);

• Design and programming of the recruitment app (that is, amongst others, the re-coding of the iPad, the unlock mechanism via the 3 spheres and the notification sent to the CEO once the candidate decided to be wanting to
learn more about the job offering);

• Production of the high-value film together with a film production company;

• Production of the sound with a Berlin-based DJ accompanying the user experience;

• Development and production of the one-of-a-kind white book together with a Berlin-based specialized manufacture;

• Delivery through our global thinkers network (the unique, customized approach was even more enhanced by the direct delivery of the iPad-turned-book via a personal messenger).


Communication Development

Content Development

Design System


Expert Knowledge


New Product Development


Key Creatives

Ralf Fisher from buks! (top notch book producer)
Sam from Umami (dj & music producer)
Laayer (UX / UI / animation)
Makery (Sphere construction)
Swipe (Technical development)