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Hunter Medical Research Institute

Creating the healthiest million people on the planet

Hunter Medical Research Institute is the largest regional medical research institute in Australia. With 1,700 researchers their world class cutting edge research blows our minds. With 25 years of history, their brand did not reflect the ambitious vision of Institute Director & CEO Prof Frances Kay-Lambkin. We were so excited to help them go even bolder.

Key Insight

We started with extensive research into their diverse audiences – staff and researchers, supporters and donors, funders, industry partners and the wider community. We found that while supporters love them to the ends of earth, the wider community in Hunter New England region do not always know them or what they do, making it difficult for them so see how HMRI can be relevant to their daily lives. It was clear that HMRI needed to appeal not only to those that have been touched by illness, but also those who have not – the younger and healthy population.


The point of difference for HMRI was their incredible connection with community and their down-to-earth attitude of doing business. They were known among industry partners and funders as more willing to ‘get s*%# done’ to tackle the biggest health concerns of our time, without big egos.

We developed the single-minded proposition of ‘we’re taking healthy further’ - the strategy talks to an organisation that is taking research out of the lab and into real life to improve the lives of the local community.

It’s also a reflection of their ambitious vision to create the healthiest million people on the planet.

The brand

HMRI’s in-house marketing and creative geniuses Mike Collins and Mick Newton brought the strategy to life via a spectacular brand evolution in-line with the brand positioning of curious, down to earth, trail blazers.

The new brand pays homage to the HMRI legacy of being trusted, rooted in scientific research yet connected to the community.

The brand launched on 1st July with a giant mural by Brett Piva on their headquarters, bringing the brand to life in powerful and impactful way, with a campaign launching soon.

We also conducted creative testing with community as well as brand challenge workshops with staff to build ownership and help them walk the talk.

Guts care about our work. There were no shortcuts or pulling punches. Their research is honest and so are their recommendations. It’s not flouncy bullshit. Normal people can understand it. This straightforward approach made our end result better. We can't wait to team up with them again!
Mike Collins, Head of Marketing & Communications, HMRI and Mick Newton, Brand & Content Specialist, HMRI

Research & brand strategy: Guts Creative

Branding & Visual Identity: Michael Newton

Mural artwork: Brett Piva

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Guts Creative acknowledges the awesome culture and creativity of the traditional custodians of the Country where we work: Awabakal Nation and Worimi Nation. We walk humbly in their footsteps, support the protection of their invaluable knowledge, and are inspired to do better by Elders past and present.
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