FCB Branding a Global Biotech

Foote, Cone & Belding in Seattle has begun working for Baxter BioScience, the first global account it has won since losing the $70 million Boeing business to FCB Chicago last November.

Baxter BioScience, a biotech company in Westlake Village, Calif., tapped the shop to develop its first brand advertising shortly after the Boeing loss. There was no review.

“This is proof that we can take another global organization and build a brand identity around it,” said executive creative director Mary Knight. As with Boeing, client parent Baxter International has multiple business groups unified under one broad umbrella, Knight noted.

Carole Kitchell, group account director at FCB, said “the parallels to Boeing are spooky.” For example, both have a heritage that includes extensive work on government contracts, and both operate globally.

Kitchell said Baxter BioScience “doesn’t know how to toot its own horn. The company has been very private until now. We are very bullish on the future of the account and the brand.”

An account budget was not disclosed. The firm has not worked with an agency on a large scale in the past.

FCB’s task is to define the company and differentiate its brand. Trade ads, collateral, design and internal communications work will be unveiled in June at the Biotechnology Industry Organization show in Toronto. The campaign will roll out around the world this year.

The print work uses bright colors and lab photos to create an aggressive image, said Knight. Copy includes lines like: “It’s not a lab. It’s a launch pad for life-changing ideas.” The tagline is, ‘Life. Made better.”

Knight said FCB avoided typical bio tech/pharmaceutical fare such as “kids skipping through a field and enjoying life. … [It is] more about the excitement of discovery and the creation of ideas at the company.”

Baxter BioScience focuses on developing biopharmaceuticals, vaccines and biosurgury products. Its 2001 sales were $2.8 billion.