Society In Science Case study SEEKING THE WORLD'S BEST POSTDOCS by Science Communications

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Industry Education
Media Case study
Market Switzerland
Agency Science Communications
Photographer Rainer Spitzenberger
Released February 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Titanium and Integrated
Date of First Appearance: Nov 1 2010
Entry URL:
CEO: Eberhard Zangger (science communications)
Graphic Designer: Carolina Flores (Independent Consultant)
Managing Partner, Crossmedia Design: Michael Hinderling (Hinderling Volkart AG)
Film Producer: Matthias Fasnacht (Intovision Media Productions)
CEO, Web Designer: Ralph Schulz (blueforest Design and Media Office)
Film Producer: Daniel Leuthold (Blush Films GmbH)
Communications Consultant: Lesley Hodder (science communications)
Communications Consultant: Daniela Renzo (Renzo5 Communications)
Photographer: Rainer Spitzenberger (Rainer Spitzenberger Photography)
Society in Science Director: Peter Chen (ETH)
Managing Director: Mateo Meier (Online Marketing AG)
Media placement: Website - Online - - 16 November 2010
Media placement: Google Adwords - Google - 16 November 2010
Media placement: Magazine Advertising - Nature, Science, New Scientist, IEEE, C&EN, Physics Today, Mechanical Engineering And Cern Courier - 16 November 2010
Media placement: Online Advertising (Banners And Buttons) -,,, - 25 Novmeber 2010
Media placement: Online Job Listings -,,,,,, - 13 Decmber 2010
Media placement: Viral Video - E-Mail,, - 17 December 2010
Media placement: Social Media Presence -, - 22 December 2010
Media placement: Press Releases and PR - E-Mail To Science Bloggers,, - 10 January 2011
Media placement: Social Media Advertising - - 14 January 2011
Media placement: Third Party E-Mail - Through Science Distribution List - 15 February 2011

Describe the campaign/entry
Society in Science – The Branco Weiss Fellowship is a grant for postdoctoral researchers from across the globe. Financial support is given to exceptional junior researchers, along with the freedom to work on a topic of their choice for up to five years at one or several institutions anywhere in the world.

As the fellowship is relatively unknown, the biggest challenge was globally addressing the extremely narrow target audience of researchers (around 30yrs old) across over 50 different disciplines. They are often absorbed by their research and relatively indifferent to social media compared to their peers.

The goal was to incite 200-300 truly outstanding applications in the largest possible variety of scientific fields from all around the world – all with a budget of 300,000 Euros.

Describe how the campaign/entry was launched across each channel in the order of implementation
The integrated campaign consisted of press and online advertising, E-mails to research news subscribers, a viral video, an information video and social media. With applications closing on March 1 2011, communications from November 2010 to 28 February 2011 ensued.

Advertisements in scientific magazines and their online equivalents, with global reach and high subscriber rates, were initially released. In a second step a customizable video themed around reward and recognition was spread via email to 2,000 targeted recipients from scientific communities.

Google Analytics indicated that the campaign was gaining the highest response in the USA and UK. Consequently, South America, Africa and Asia were specifically targeted through media releases sent to science newswires. Google AdWords and Facebook campaigns, supported by tweets and updates, coincided.

The post-doctorate fellowship was listed on multiple scientific and student job sites and, in a final push, an email was sent to an international Science mailing list.

Give some idea of how successful this campaign/entry was with both client and consumer
The traffic to the Society in Science site increased by 1400% from 2009, with the average number of visitors rising to over 400 daily. During the campaign period between 1 November and 28 February the website received over 32,000 visits (21,000 unique) from 140 countries. The average duration on the site was 3:25 minutes.

Click through rates on all online campaigns were higher than the reported averages of online sites (for example achieving 0.2% on, with our job listings also proving to be one of the most popular (for example in the top ten jobs listed on Facebook campaigns resulted in online community growth to over 1,000.

Most importantly, the application target was reached and exceeded by the deadline, with 310 people from 68 countries covering over 60 disciplines applying. When asked in the application form how they heard about us, every campaign element was mentioned.