Touch Associates / Merck


In 2017, Merck entered into a two-year strategic partnership with TED as TED’s sole pharmaceutical/ healthcare partner. As a result, [email protected] was born - aimed at showcasing the ideas, talents and curiosity amongst Merck’s global employees not only with a live audience but with millions who form the wider virtual TED audience.

For 2018, touch returned to design and produce [email protected] speaker event. This included development of ‘The Art of Possibility’ event theme, which was intertwined across a 10-month internal marketing and speaker selection campaign, incorporating digital and printed media to engage Merck’s global audience with a world of storytelling. touch also managed the entire guest journey for this event, which included the creation of five Activation Zones that immersed guests in the theme before and after the event.

For each zone, touch used art and technology to tell the ‘Art of Possibility’ narrative, which was achieved by working with students at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt. Some 45 students worked on the installations and created extraordinary media pieces and performance art demonstrating their vision of the future media landscape.

On the day of the event, some 750 guests watched as 13 Merck employees took to the stage talking about subjects spanning the potential of shark antibodies, the science of bubbles and the possibilities of sound genetics. Speakers from within Merck and beyond sought to explore how curiosity, research and new ideas could transform lives.

To date, there have been some 2.68 million views of the talks online and counting...

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