PSFK speaks with CEO Paul Jacobson to learn more about the wellness company's customized at-home health kits and a recent tech-driven NYC pop-up experiential activation to offer an alternative education

Although annual doctor check-ups remain an absolute vital necessity, the emerging on-demand and direct-to-consumer healthcare space has made a permanent impact on the way consumers view personal care. What used to be a once-a-year concern has become a daily lifestyle routine (see: the wellness industry).

Health and technology startup Thorne offers an exciting new solution for consumers seeking out at-home health services, with personalized DTC tests and supplements that target specific concerns, including sleep, stress, thyroid, Vitamin D and more. PSFK spoke with CEO Paul Jacobson to learn more about the brand, as well as the strategies behind its recent tech-driven experiential activation in NYC–The Frontier Within, created in partnership with Droga5– an experience that gave consumers unique insight into their inner-body roadmap via an Inner Selfie:

What are some broader trends you're seeing in the health and wellness space, and how are you leveraging them in your work?

First and foremost, Thorne is a proponent of the shift toward ‘healthcare in the home.’ The traditional approach of relying solely on an annual doctor’s check-up to track your health is growing increasingly obsolete. Today, innovative solutions like Thorne’s are empowering consumers to take more control over their health.

Through our diagnostic at-home test kits, for example, Thorne is able to help provide consumers with greater understanding of their health, while providing them with tailored supplement, diet and lifestyle recommendations to help take their health to the next level.

Thorne also brings a more integrative perspective on health. Traditionally, we’ve culturally thought of health as relegated only to the body. Increasingly, however, the medical community—and society in general—has come to appreciate the critical intersections between mental, physical and emotional health.

Pictured: The Frontier Within. Courtesy of Droga5

Thorne offers take-home health tests with personalized results. How do you differentiate your products from traditional clinical tests? 

Thorne test kits give consumers a way to take more control over their health, in a format more convenient for today’s demanding lifestyles. These kits will never replace the need for doctors, but we see an opportunity to give additional tools to health-conscious consumers who are looking for ways to improve their health beyond acceptable standard by continually gaining insight and taking control with proactive solutions.

The Frontier Within launched with an experiential activation. Why was having a physical activation for the campaign an important strategy for you?

We knew the supplement and at-home diagnostic test kit categories are highly fragmented. Breaking through would be reliant on more than just traditional advertising alone.

We also knew that consumers in the category are highly dependent on the recommendation of health press, health & wellness influencers and of course physicians. Staging an activation designed to engage and grab the attention of these voices would be critical in building equity for the brand.

With these two things in mind, we designed an activation-centric campaign, designed to maximize earned reach while propagating our story online through consumers’ social channels.

In doing so, our goal was to provide an experience that was live and tangible, deepening our audience’s connection to their own bodies and thereby appreciating how powerful, precious and beautiful good health truly is.

Pictured: The Frontier Within. Courtesy of Droga5

To finish, tell us about the online version of your activation, and why it was important to have.

We knew that influencers and press would help drive awareness for our physical experience in New York, we also wanted to find opportunities to bring national scale to it through consumer social engagement as well.

We did so by replicating the experience online, developing a tool that lets users create their own Inner Selfie. On this site, our digital experience takes inputs of users’ actual biodata (using the native functionalities of your phone), then develops a wholly unique Inner Selfie for each user, which they can then share with their social following.


Lead image: Courtesy of Droga5