Internal content experiment ‘Messages in the Deep’ generates astonishing global exposure, links and social shares

International content marketing garners coverage in 185 countries

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Messages in the Deep by Builtvisible

Underwater submersible checking cable lines

How do you push boundaries, test out new ideas and challenge yourselves to be better marketers? This is the question we ask ourselves every day as an agency. How can we innovate for our clients if we haven’t first tested ourselves?

The Challenge

As a test of our own capabilities, we tasked the entire team with pushing our combined skillset to the limit. How could we work together to create a beautiful, shareable, thoughtful piece of interactive content that would set the internet ablaze?

We decided that we wanted to reveal the intricacy and beauty in something mundane, something we all take for granted on a daily basis, but which forms an inescapable part of our modern lives.

The Solution

After an extensive creative ideation process we touched upon internet infrastructure and the vast network of deep sea cables that form its backbone. Boring and technical at first glance, the story we unearthed gave a behind-the-scenes angle on our fascinatingly connected world through interactive elements and clear, accessible writing.

Messages in the Deep studies the incredible history and topology of the physical internet. The article contains an interactive map charting the growth of the subsea network over the decades, incredibly detailed research, and most importantly, an innovative approach to technical storytelling.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 17.14.54

The Results

The piece was incredibly and immediately popular. Over a mere 3 months the project:

  • was shared over 10,000 times on social media
  • received more than 1,600 links from over 200 linking root domains
  • won coverage in 185 countries

Publications discussing the piece included the likes of Vice, TheNextWeb, Daily Mail and The Washington Post, with coverage found in at least six languages across four continents.

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