Every two minutes a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Merck for Mothers was created as a revolutionary initiative to maternal mortality globally. When the group needed a partner to elevate and celebrate them as a leader in maternal health by illustrating the crucial role of the private sector in solving public health issues — they turned to Matter Unlimited. That was eight years ago. Today the partnership is still going strong, as we continue to deliver innovative communications ideas. From Virtual Reality to immersive digital content, explore our breakthrough and inventive storytelling platform “All For Mothers” and how it has catalyzed action and awareness in the fight to end maternal mortality globally.

The Challenge

Merck wanted to position itself as a leader in maternal health, via their Merck for Mothers initiative, by illustrating the crucial role of private sector support. They needed to create greater awareness for their initiative, inspiring new partners to join them in the fight — from policymakers and NGOs to consumers and the media.

What Matters

Health Equity


Film/Video Production
Virtual Reality
Narrative Messaging
Digital Content Strategy

Website Design
Creative Asset Design

“Women are not dying because of diseases we cannot treat… They are dying because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving.”

Dr. Mahmoud FathallaChair of the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research
The Solution

Matter Unlimited created a multi-year narrative platform that included a virtual reality film that premiered at the World Economic Forum in Davos event; an online film that became the most watched piece of content in Merck’s company history; and a redesigned structure of their annual report, which included a digital thought leadership series.

Our Impact

Through our efforts, the issue of maternal mortality has reached higher levels of public consciousness, while more than doubling the partners involved in the Merck For Mothers effort.


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As part of the new platform, we created an anthemic film, PUSH, to drive home the ambition of the initiative. Within days of launching this film became the most viewed video on Merck’s history garnering over 4 million views across channels.

Inside Impact Virtual Reality Film

All For Mothers

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A VR film brought audiences on a journey to Uganda to experience first hand the impact midwives were having in small communities. The experience launched at Davos in 2017, changing the way cause-related challenges could be presented to philanthropic audiences, as a new memorable experience for policy makers and maternal health advocates.


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In 2019, we turned our attention to the US where a woman in 1990 had a better chance of surviving childbirth than her own daughter does today. A new film REVERSE cast a powerful and necessary spotlight on the issue and a digital report did a deep dive on “The Mom Effect”.

Annual Reports

The traditional annual report was replaced with multiple, episodic digital reports that combined both data and storytelling into a dynamic, interactive interface. The content we create is inherently sharable and broadly relevant, inviting new and unexpected audiences and

feeding their communication ecosystem to create more consistency and relevancy throughout the year. The issue of maternal mortality has reached unprecedented levels of public consciousness, and today Merck for Mothers has over 170 partners globally.