How Vicarious Reimagines Robotic Surgery with Copywriting that Inspires

Vicarious Robotics is changing the face of surgery with virtual reality and robotics—and it's using great copywriting to help promote its work.

Vicarious Robotics is using virtual reality and robotic surgery to reshape healthcare.

Virtual reality is quickly becoming actual reality, and the applications are seemingly endless, especially when combined with robotics. One application that’s rapidly gaining steam is healthcare, and one company that’s pushing the envelope on what’s possible is Vicarious Surgical, a robotic surgery company.

Founded in 2014, Vicarious Surgical describes itself as “surgical robotics—reimagined.” Currently, it’s focused on developing a tool for minimally invasive surgery that combines robotics with virtual reality. The company is backed by Bill Gates, and its product is the first device of its kind to be designated as a breakthrough device by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In 2021, the robotic surgery company went public.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of excitement around Vicarious Surgical. Typically, you don’t get this kind of attention without a great copy and content strategy to help tell your story. Let’s take a look at its web presence to break down what works and why. 

For high-converting copy and content, get in touch with MarketSmiths today.

Speaking the language of surgeons

Any good copywriter knows the first question to ask when developing a content strategy: who am I talking to? Vicarious knows its audience is surgeons, and crafts its copy accordingly. The homepage headline reads: “Minimally invasive. Maximum freedom.” That may not mean much to a patient. But to a surgeon frustrated with the limitations of traditional surgical methods, it speaks volumes.

Vicarious also does a great job of helping its audience feel the benefits of its product. A headline reads, “Technology So Advanced, You Won’t Know It’s There.” From there, the body copy explains how the Vicarious tool gives surgeons added visualization, precision, and control. What really drives the point home is an analogy that sums it all up: “It’s almost as if the surgeon is transported into the patient’s body.” That image alone stirs up emotions like curiosity, excitement, desire, wonder—all positive feelings Vicarious wants its audience to associate with its brand and product. 

Finally, Vicarious illustrates its product’s broader impact. One headline: “Robotics for People: Designed for Getting Back to Daily Life,” a reference to the advantages of minimally invasive robotic surgery for the lives of patients. Here we see that Vicarious isn’t just making life better for surgeons, but also for patients and humanity at large—a powerful and inclusive message. 

A bold brand for a bold vision

Most technology companies have visions of changing the world. But many struggle to express that ambition in a way that inspires. Vicarious does so successfully: “One tiny incision. One giant leap” and “A New Reality Inspired By Science Fiction” align the brand with explorers, pioneers, and other figures of human innovation and ingenuity. 

In fact, the company’s About page details how the founders were “inspired by the movie Fantastic Voyage, in which doctors shrink down in size to travel within the human body.” This piece of copy marries a humble, relatable scene (who of us has not dreamed up a crazy idea while watching a movie with friends?) to a grand and awe-inspiring vision. This tension generates interest and belief. 

Vicarious also weaves a narrative to bring you into the journey. Read this, and tell me you don’t feel like you’re cheering a promising young child along at a science fair: “As with all innovations, great ideas took the form of exciting prototypes. Determination drove achievement. And achievement fueled a wonderful sense of pride and purpose. This was their own fantastic voyage—one that took them further than they had ever imagined, and was about to take laparoscopic surgery even further.”

All of these techniques and effects come together to create a moving picture in your mind. You relate to these heroes: ordinary humans with the courage to reach toward the extraordinary. You see yourself in them, and you want them to win.  

Amplifying a message of hope

Taking a look at the Vicarious content strategy reveals some strong structures in place for extending the voice, tone, and message that’s been established on the website. First, let’s look at the Twitter feed. The copy and content is refreshingly simple and direct. The company tweets about its values, facts about robotic surgery, press clippings, and everyday examples of company culture. 

In addition, Vicarious has begun producing a podcast, featuring “in-depth interviews with some of the most renowned minds in robotics.” By exclusively focusing on robotics, they get to create content about the promise of the future, rather than the pain of the past or present. It’s not about harping on what’s wrong with healthcare. It’s about celebrating what’s right about where we’re headed, and bringing together brilliant minds to imagine and inspire that future. What better brand association for Vicarious could there be?

A world-class university got a website revamp

One of the most famous universities on earth, Stanford University was gearing up to start groundbreaking work on campus. But without a robust environmental health and safety website, progress was slow. Unfortunately, its existing copy was clunky, confusing, and hard to navigate. Not for long. After tapping MarketSmiths, we worked closely with both the university and a hired communications agency to put it right, revising hundreds of pages, from Working Safely with Rabbits to the Laser Safety Manual. After relaunching the website, Stanford was ready to start its expansion—and had a website to match its prestige. 

> Read the full case study here

Copywriting toward a brave new world

It’s clear that Vicarious Robotics has created a special product. You don’t get backed by Bill Gates and special acknowledgement from the FDA for nothing. Their robotic surgery technology is impressive. But a great product requires great copywriting and content to captivate an audience and inspire them to engage and believe. 

Vicarious has done just that, creating a brave new world of adventure and exploration that speaks to the innate human desire to push past limitations in the search for a better world.

Want copywriting that paints a picture of a better tomorrow? Get in touch with MarketSmiths today.

Paul Rosevear

Paul Rosevear

What do you get when you combine the soul of a musician with the mind of a writer? Copy that sings. And for the last decade, that’s precisely what Paul has delivered for global brands, bootstrap startups, and everything in between. When he’s not hard at work crafting top-notch communications, you can find Paul hanging with his wife and two young daughters, singing and playing guitar for The Vice Rags, or roaming the streets in search of the nearest slice of pizza.

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