Moderna takes a 'Coffee Break' with new social media series spotlighting scientists

No 2 p.m. slump here—Moderna has launched a new video series to energize its social media followers’ midafternoon breaks.

Each installment in the “Coffee Break Science” series will include an interview with one of Moderna’s scientists, who will “unpack a fascinating topic related to viruses, vaccines, or immunology” while grabbing a coffee, the pharma said in the caption of its first episode last Friday.

That post—which was shared across Moderna’s Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts and filmed in the social-media-friendly vertical video format—turned the spotlight on Carole Henry, Ph.D., director of immunology in the company’s infectious disease research department, as she picked up a drink from an in-house coffee cart and answered a few questions about viruses.

The chat with Henry lasted just over a minute and included a basic overview of what viruses are, how they cause diseases and how the human immune system fights back, all explained in easily understandable terms.

Moderna Coffee Break Science

The campaign is part of Moderna’s “effort to make basic virology and vaccine science approachable,” Chief Brand Officer Kate Cronin said in a statement sent to Fierce Pharma Marketing.

“It’s our way of breaking down barriers and making scientific education both accessible and engaging, directly from our expert scientists to the public,” she continued. “By simplifying science and blending it with the casual setting of a coffee break, we want to demystify virology ahead of the vaccination season.”

Moderna isn’t alone in a kick-starting a campaign that highlights its scientists and has them explain their work in a relaxed setting. GSK previously launched its own “Science on the Sofa” series, in which the company’s experts were tapped to take a load off and chat about GSK’s work in treating various diseases.

Meanwhile, both AbbVie and Pfizer have recently put out corporate branding blasts focused on each company’s goal of making scientific breakthroughs—including AbbVie’s “The Case for Big Bets” campaign and Pfizer’s “Here’s to Science” ad, the latter of which aired at this year’s Super Bowl.

Pfizer also revived its long-running “Dear Scientist” series last month, in which patients are tasked with writing letters to the pharma’s scientists about their experiences with various diseases, after which they’re given the opportunity to meet with one of those scientists to learn how Pfizer is working to develop treatments for their conditions.

The latest installment stars a long COVID patient who’s looking to start a discussion about the still-mysterious illness with Jennifer Hammond, Ph.D., Pfizer’s head of antiviral development and leader of its development program for COVID treatments.