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Autism Speaks Partners With BBDO to Raise Awareness, Funds For MSSNG

Project Aims to Unlock Autism's Genomic Code; MSSNG Lab Art Exhibit Helps Raise Funds
May 06, 2015

NEW YORK, NY-- Autism Speaks has partnered with advertising agency BBDO NY to bring awareness and raise funds for its groundbreaking project, MSSNG, a new open-source research platform that will house the world's largest database of sequenced genomic information on people with autism. The non-profit and leading creative agency hosted a one-night-only art exhibit, The MSSNG Lab, which displayed the work of fine art photographer and biochemist Linden Gledhill, who created art out of the very thing that holds answers to the frequently asked questions about Autism: DNA.

"MSSNG has the potential to change the future for millions of people with autism, and this event is designed to heighten its awareness. We thank BBDO for helping to brand this cutting-edge project among a vast and diverse audience," said Liz Feld, President of Autism Speaks.

To raise funds for the research project, Autism Speaks and BBDO worked with Gledhill to create over 10,000 unique images of liquid crystal DNA and time-lapse films of liquid DNA molecules crystallizing. The resulting images are being used to create 10,000 one-of-a-kind DNA posters, each available for purchase to directly fund the 10,000 DNA sequences needed for the MSSNG project. Once complete, scientists from around the world will be able to access this data for research, via the Google Cloud platform.

"In partnering with Autism Speaks, we've had the opportunity to help highlight the beauty that lives inside everyone and to support this groundbreaking research effort," said Matt MacDonald, Executive Creative Director, BBDO. "We are so in awe of the project and happy to play a small part in bringing MSSNG and the MSSNG Lab to life."

About The MSSNG Lab:

  • An invite-only art show and auction, hosted in New York City on May 6 at Betaworks studio
     
  • Artwork, videos and other campaign components will be on display at the one-night-only event
     
  • At the show, Gledhill will be visualizing DNA samples and guests can watch them crystallizing in real-time
     
  • All artwork on display will be available for sale, proceeds of which will all go directly towards the MSSNG fundraising effort
     

To further highlight the project, BBDO created an online film (http://mss.ng) depicting the process behind photographing crystallized DNA, as well as in partnership with MediaMonks created an interactive experience, where users can purchase one of the 10,000 DNA posters as well as explore the DNA art for themselves. Jouke Vuurmans, ECD at MediaMonks said: "We wanted to let anyone explore the art of growing microscopic DNA crystals. In building this online lab, our aim was to mimic the real-world process both in terms of function and aesthetic. This interactive experience turns visitors of the Autism Speaks web platform into true creators and helps them understand autism in an insightful and engaging way. We are excited to contribute our digital expertise to such a fascinating project."

To commemorate the effort, Autism Speaks has also created a coffee table book of the beautiful DNA photography, juxtaposed with portraits and stories of people on the spectrum and a radio spot where the music is entirely composed based on a DNA sequence relevant to autism. People interested in supporting the campaign and learning more can visit the MSSNG website at http://mss.ng.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $525 million to its mission, the majority in science and medical research. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 60 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.

About BBDO
BBDO's mantra is "The Work. The Work. The Work." Every day, BBDO people in 289 offices in 81 countries work day by day, job by job and client by client to create and deliver the world's most compelling commercial content. For nine years in a row, BBDO has been the most creative agency network in the world in The Gunn Report and for seven years, BBDO has been ranked the most awarded agency network across all marketing communications in The Directory Big Won. In addition, BBDO has been named Network of the Year at Cannes five times and is currently ranked the world's most Effective Agency Network in the Global Effie Effectiveness Index for the second year in a row. In 2015, WARC ranked BBDO #1 in its WARC 100 rankings of the world's top marketing companies for the second consecutive year. BBDO has been chosen Agency of the Year multiple times by the leading industry trade publications. 

BBDO is part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE-OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), a leading global marketing and corporate communications company.