VAI Rolls Out Information Campaign

July 13, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — The Van Andel Institute plans to launch a series of TV commercials to give the West Michigan community a greater sense of the institute's passion and purpose.

The message is essentially "this is who we are and this is what we do." The intention is to do some branding for the VAI in addition to informing the community about its research efforts in cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other devastating diseases, said Joe Gavan, VAI vice president of communications and development. He said the institute also hopes the commercials will spark community pride in what is going on in the life sciences here.

"There seems to be so much mystery surrounding the institute because it's new to the community," Gavan said. "The life sciences corridor is new to Michigan, and as an anchor of that corridor, people generally don't know what it is we do and how we're changing the economic base of this region."

VAI Chairman David Van Andel is featured in one 30-second commercial spot. Nick Duesbery, Ph.D., head of the institute's Laboratory of Cancer and Developmental Cell Biology, and Cindy Miranti, Ph.D., head of the Laboratory of Integrin Signaling and Tumorigenesis, are also featured in separate 30-second spots.

He expects to get the information campaign off the ground this week. The commercials will be broadcast on local TV stations throughout West Michigan and as far north as Traverse City. He's also targeting the Michiana area, which includes Northern Indiana and Southwest Lower Michigan communities.

The commercials were produced by Grand Rapids-based Lawrence Productions.    

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