Shortlisted 2023

Social Good


Leaps by Bayer

Entered by:

BBC StoryWorks

Crossing the Line


Leaps by Bayer has social good at their heart. They invest in paradigm-shifting advances in the life sciences that could change the world for the better.

Tackling a wide range of global challenges, from curing genetic diseases to developing next generation agriculture – they are leveraging transformative biotechnologies to tackle ten Leaps that could have the greatest impact on humanity.

With this latest chapter of their brand story, the third in the series, ‘Leap Forward’ uses the challenge of kite-surfing across the international date line to highlight the impact of climate change on the fragile ecosystems and people of Samoa.

‘Leap Forward’ is a story of not just challenges, but of solutions – positive, practical and inspirational to help build a movement for change. And the heart of the message is the importance of collaboration.

The ‘Leap Forward’ challenge united two leaders in science and sport to journey from today into tomorrow, crossing the international date line. Their achievement underscores how collaboration can enable the brightest minds to harness social good.

Collaboration is key to making breakthroughs in the life sciences and beyond. In an increasingly convergent world, there is no innovation without collaboration. As a company, Leaps brings experts together to share their expertise through investing in a range of portfolio companies. Their communications strategy mirrors this by showing powerful real-world examples of collaboration, as seen in the ‘Leap Forward’ campaign.

By raising awareness of the importance of collaboration, Leaps by Bayer’s strategy hopes to extend their impact beyond the scientific work they fund directly, but also foster a wider spirit of togetherness that can benefit all society in facing our challenges. Leaps aims to enable, so others can fly.

The Content Solution

The objective of the campaign was to tell the story behind the ‘Leap Forward’ challenge and communicate the wider purpose of Leaps by Bayer.

There were two parts to the BBC StoryWorks content solution: a deep dive film to foster greater brand interest, and an introductory article to raise brand awareness.

Firstly, BBC StoryWorks partnered with international production company, Iconoclast, to executive produce a powerful short documentary, ‘Crossing the Line’. The film tells the story of the unique collaboration between a weather expert and a record-breaking athlete as they attempted to cross the ocean between America and Western Samoa for the first time on a kite surf.

‘Crossing the Line’ is an eight-minute digital film that explores the full story of the ‘Leap Forward’ challenge and its impact. Taking the time to look beyond the surface of the successful Leap, the film fully explores the theme of collaboration through unwinding the personal relationships and behind the scenes challenges between kite-surf world-record holder Olivia Jenkins and climate team led by weather scientist Dr. Alicia Ageno.

Their experience opens a window to the reality of climate change on this remote island, located quite literally on the edge of tomorrow. Through interviews with Samoan meteorologists and community leaders, the need for innovation and action to combat climate change becomes increasingly clear, human, and urgent.​

By handing the mic to local Samoans after seeing Olivia’s successful challenge, the film gives valuable context through the lived experience of those on the ground – amplifying the resonance and understanding of the people and their environment in an authentic way.

Secondly, BBC StoryWorks developed an accompanying article to house the film on and provide further details the role and purpose of Leaps. The article presented the ‘Ten Leaps’ to help audiences learn and understand the core meaning and activities – geared towards improving opportunities for humanity. Spotlighting each challenge showcased the scale of the brand ambition and impact, giving our audience a comprehensive introduction to their activities and importance in an engaging way.

All content was housed in a branded content destination on Throughout the campaign we optimized the content and promotion methods through constant testing, seen through the video placement on the page, auto-play functionality, and social formats.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

The full-length film was housed on the article page on and promoted across our trusted BBC digital ecosystem.

Thanks to our century-long pedigree in trusted storytelling, the BBC is synonymous with sustainability. Our BBC digital audience over-indexes on interest in sustainability, science and environment, particularly on our BBC News, BBC Business and BBC Future verticals on, making the BBC the perfect place for Leaps by Bayer to reach a relevant, engaged audience.

We used an array of display placements of custom traffic driver ad units to pique audience interest while reading about relevant topics across, where users could then click through to the full Leaps by Bayer branded content page.

Our interscroller video ad unit was especially successful, with its full-screen immersive format leading to the highest CTR of all units tested across This provided the perfect space to offer a teaser of the film where users could then click to watch the full feature.

To reach a mobile first audience, we also promoted across our BBC News app which saw significant click through on mobile devices.

Beyond, the campaign also leveraged the reach of our BBC StoryWorks social handles on Facebook and LinkedIn. Paid promotion of traffic driving ads that click through to the article page, as well as film cut-downs, led to a significant expansion of the global campaign reach.

The Results

The aim of this campaign was to raise awareness of the Leaps by Bayer brand actions, and tell a deeper, more emotive story behind the ‘Leap Forward’ challenge through our ‘Crossing the Line’ film. Thanks to the power and impact of our branded content storytelling, we surpassed benchmarks and registered a real impact, evidenced through two separate studies.

The digital content saw an impressive 9.6m impressions, and 538k page views with 140 seconds average dwell time from 162k unique visitors on The campaign reached a further 2m people across Facebook and LinkedIn, with 94% of audiences from target markets, with a huge 5.5% interaction rate on Facebook and 2.24% CTR on LinkedIn.

The ‘Crossing the Line’ documentary film garnered 134k video views on site, representing a huge 268% of target, as well as 586k social views.

We measured the impact of the campaign on brand performance with our AdScore research tool. Advertising creative performed well in terms of attention, recall & awareness – showing an uplift in perception of the brand across all markets. The campaign achieved cut through with an above average 54% online recall, and significant increases in 71% recommendation (+61% vs control) and 73% consideration (+52% vs control). Positivity towards Leaps by Bayer experienced an uplift of 64% among BBC consumers.

We also measured the deeper impact of the film through Science of Engagement research which combines biometric and psychological techniques. The research showed that the film led to a +68% positive shift in implicit association (70% higher than benchmark). Moreover, 78% of respondents stated that they enjoyed watching the creative, net brand awareness improved by 18%, and brand favourability saw an uplift of 70% (164% higher than benchmark). Over 9 in 10 wanted to further engage with the brand.