WPP captured the sound of cancer cells being destroyed in this oncology campaign

The project was unveiled for doctors at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting

Published On
Jun 08, 2023
A man with cancer smiling as he listens to the sounds of his cancer cells dying

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There’s been a lot of audio experimentation in advertising over past few years, and WPP adds to that tradition with “The Most Beautiful Sound,” a project that captures the process of cancer cells dying and translates it into sounds that patients can hear.

The project was created by Grey Health & Wellness, supported by Health@WPP, comprised of WPP agencies serving clients across the healthcare sector. The sounds were shared for the first time at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 2023 meeting. A listening station was set up where attendees could hear the sounds and watch a video from Hogarth (one of the WPP agencies) showing cancer patients experiencing the audio.

It was clearly an emotional experience, as you can see here:


The project emerged from an effort by Grey Health & Wellness to give people receiving cancer treatment a better understanding of how their medication or chemotherapy directly impacts cancerous cells. The team worked with researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital to isolate the sound of breast and lung cancer cells at the moment of cellular death—a process led by Conor Evans, PhD, who used a stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy to measure the exact movements of the cells as they die, which were then transcribed into audible sounds.

“Like all cells, there is an inherent motion and vibration within cancer cells,” said Evans. “What is truly exciting about this idea is the ability to give something invisible real perspective that could be truly powerful for patients as they go through their cancer journey.” 

Kristen Neese, chief marketing and communications officer at ASCO, called the project “a powerful and artistic representation of cancer cells being destroyed in the body,” and praised its universality—that it can be understood in any language and experienced across geographies and cultures.
“Tangible milestones or progress on a patient’s cancer journey can sometimes be hard to visualize,” added Wendy Lund, chief client officer of health at WPP. “We wanted patients to experience how impactful their treatment can be and this creative approach, based in research, is groundbreaking in its ability to help inspire and motivate patients, cancer survivors and caregivers.” 

The Health@WPP network also includes BCW, CMI Media, GCI Health, Ogilvy Health, TANK Worldwide, VMLY&R Health and Wunderman Thompson Health.


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