Beautiful Minds spurs people to think about DSM products

DSM Nutritional Products makes life'sDHA, an omega-3 ingredient brand that goes into products such as infant formulas and supplements.

Client: DSM Nutritional Products (Columbia, MD)
PR agency: Carmichael Lynch Spong (Minneapolis, MN)
Campaign: Beautiful Minds: Finding Your Lifelong Potential
Duration: March-October 2011
Budget: $350,000-$400,000

DSM Nutritional Products makes life'sDHA, an omega-3 ingredient brand that goes into products such as infant formulas and supplements. Over the last several years, the in-house team and AOR Carmichael Lynch Spong have been driving understanding of "brain health" and the role life'sDHA plays in supporting it.

"Science shows that brain health is flexible and lifestyle affects development and function," says Cassie France-Kelly, corporate communications director for life'sDHA. "There's a gap in understanding that."

Goals included driving 200 million impressions, coverage of 15 partner products, and a 2% increase in awareness.

The team merged and advanced two assets - America's Brain Health Index, which provides new national and state-by-state metrics every other year, and Beautiful Minds, a 2010 contest conducted with the National Center for Creative Aging.

"The Brain Health Index is the rational side," explains Carmichael MD Julie Batliner. "Beautiful Minds brings it to life on the emotional side. It was time to combine them for the most compelling story."

Resources were aggregated on, which launched March 17. Media relations, social media outreach, and a photo exhibit drove messaging.

DSM partnered with the National Center for Creative Aging on Beautiful Minds. Calls for nominations of people 55 and older who embody the four dimensions of brain health (diet, physical health, mental health, and social well-being) were issued at trade shows, on Facebook, and through the center's network. Submissions were collected on, which houses the index, a brain health quiz, and research.

DSM and the center selected and announced 11 Beautiful Minds finalists in June. Online audiences voted for a "People's Choice" beautiful mind.

Outreach included general consumer, lifestyle, and health outlets; outlets that reach Baby Boomers; and media entities in the local markets of the 11 finalists. Lifestyle and health bloggers were also targeted.

The team created photo and video portraits of each finalist and posted them to the website, Facebook, and YouTube. The 2011 finalist photos were exhibited at venues in DC and Boston between October 29 and November 22.

Updated index data was released September 21. Neurologist Dr. Majid Fotuhi gave interviews to New York media. Dr. Michael Roizen conducted a brain health SMT.

France-Kelly says brand building and education work has helped spur growth, noting that life'sDHA was in six consumer products in 2006 and it's now in more than 500. "Partners love that we've helped create the brain health market so consumers want to buy [products with the ingredient]," she adds.

Nearly 500 million impressions were gained from 2,015 stories in outlets including Today and Women's Health. Coverage included 15 partner products.

An Omnibus survey showed brand awareness rose 14.3% over 2010. In addition, ending October, visits topped 43,000.

From March 1 to December 31, Facebook likes increased by 22,373 with 928,567 post views.

Contest entries went up from about 100 in 2010 to 126.

The campaign will continue. New aspects will include promoting research that shows the role nutrition and lifestyle play in children's brain development.

PRWeek's View
This is a fantastic example of an ongoing education initiative driving meaningful business results. Since its 2009 launch, the science-driven Brain Health Index has gotten a lot of traction and the merge with the Beautiful Minds contest and content worked really well. Beautiful Minds is a great consumer engagement tool and a nice supplement to the index data for media and bloggers. The addition of data about children's brain health and other elements this year should continue to enrich the campaign and drive results.

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