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Leo Burnett Chicago Gives a Literal Voice to Rare Specimens

Campaign engages local residents to showcase breadth of collection

Thanks to Leo Burnett, for the first time, The Field Museum is giving its specimens collection a voice. The agency’s “Specimen Monologues” campaign allows a special selection of the 30 million specimens in the museum to finally share their stories and help us understand the world in which we live. But how are they doing that? By asking the people of Chicago to lend their voices to these specimens that can’t speak for themselves.

Hundreds of dead, inanimate specimens will come to life through close to 200 scripts crafted by Leo Burnett, and voiced over by Chicagoans who record their monologues at a mini sound-recording studio popping up around the city in July. The best voice-over performances will become part of the exhibition and immortalized in the museum’s permanent collection. Selected pieces can be heard through a simple mobile website, allowing everyone to listen on their phones as they go through the exhibitions.

The Field Museum has an immense collection of specimens that are part of its permanent collection but not on display. The effort by Leo Burnett showcases the breadth of the museum’s holdings, while finding a clever way to show why they matter.

“The new monologues chronicle the things that you might otherwise never hear about – an extinct minnow that’s the only record of its kind, moss that helped solve an FBI crime, eggs on the frontlines of climate change research,” said Carlos Murad, creative director at Leo Burnett Chicago.

The creative campaign, conceptualized and executed by the Leo Burnett for The Field Museum’s exhibition “Specimens: Unlocking the Secrets of Life,” is inspired by the talent and energy that the city of Chicago provides.

July 19, 2017