The Synbio SPAC

Introducing synthetic biology to the public

Challenge + Strategy

As if biology and a business model spanning multiple industries wasn’t complicated enough, in going public Ginkgo took on another acronym: SPAC. In addition, Ginkgo made this announcement in the midst of an industry-wide reappraisal of SPACs. Mission North was tasked with continuing to build excitement for this milestone for the field of synthetic biology and avoid controversy during this time. Ginkgo has been a Mission North client for five years, so this SPAC was a culmination of thousands of hours of positioning and media work.

Strategy

Using a suite of natural language processing tools, Mission North executed a months-long multichannel campaign designed to tell the business story and differentiate Ginkgo from other companies embroiled in SPAC-related scandals. 

We counseled Ginkgo to break their SPAC story with a reporter they knew and trusted, rather than being relegated to the ‘deals’ team at a more prominent outlet. In addition, we leveraged known entities in the pharma space, like Ari Belldegrum, to focus the story back on the technology. 

Building on that initial success, the team leveraged the lack of a quiet period to continue to announce deals with trade reporters. These were packaged and shared via Twitter to excite retail investors. Lastly, the team organized Reddit AMAs, full page ads in USA Today, an anthem video and a suite of digital owned content to communicate directly with the public.

Execution + Results

The initial SPAC story launched with Bloomberg and resulted in 56 unique articles. It also resulted in further features in Fortune, the New York Times and forthcoming pieces in Ashlee Vance’s Hello World and the New York Times Magazine. 

These media pieces were paired with digital content like a Reddit AMA and Twitter thread after Twitter thread announcing new partners launching on Ginkgo’s platform. These efforts culminated in Ginkgo’s listing day, which resulted in 27 pieces of coverage, including multiple broadcast hits and 19 features of the company, as well as digital activations and a print and digital takeover of USA Today. 

The stock listed and immediately reached an all-time high, making several employees millionaires. It has continued to trade favorably and financial analysts are rating it a buy, grasping the importance of Ginkgo to the growing field of synthetic biology. 

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