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David Castro photographing a school of bigeye trevally fish and their mating ritual at Cabo Pulmo, Mexico.

David against Goliath

The story behind the employer brand photo

What do we have to do with fish? For our employer brand, we decided that one of its images should be full of fish. And for a good reason: Octavio Aburto’s photograph tells a very special story about people who, through their dedication, have made a lasting improvement to the quality of life. The picture epitomizes our employer brand “Passion to innovate | Power to change.”



Cabo Pulmo


The fish in the picture are not just any fish. They are around 5,000 bigeye trevally, photographed by marine biologist and photographer Octavio Aburto in the Gulf of California’s Cabo Pulmo national marine park, Mexico. The spectacular image shows how the fish swarm in a tornado-like formation from the ocean bed to the surface. “With this fascinating ritual, the fish are preparing to mate,” the photographer explains. “In the past, events like this would attract fishermen who would come and catch the fish in huge numbers.”

463 %

increase in biomass between 1999 – 2009, after becoming Marine National Park.

When he says “in the past,” Aburto means the first half of the 1990s. At that time, the Cabo Pulmo coast was not yet a protected reserve and the entire region was overfished. But then the people living around the bay dedicated themselves to turning Cabo Pulmo into a national marine park with strict fishing rules. With incomparable doggedness, they stood firm against the economic thinking of the tourism industry and major fisheries.

Sustainable innovation

“One of the most dedicated of those fighting for the national park was David Castro,” Aburto says. In the picture, local man David is seen as a tiny diver confronted by the enormous school of fish, which explains Aburto’s choice of title for his picture: ‘David and Goliath.’

  • Octavio Aburto took the new employer brand photo. It tells a very special story.

“The name is supposed to express the fact that we humans are only a tiny part of a complex ecosystem,” says Aburto. “To ensure our long-term survival on this planet, we have to keep the environment we live in intact.” Environmental protection is critical to humanity’s survival. “The example of Cabo Pulmo proves that with a great deal of passion, commitment and tenacity, we can take action against environmental destruction and change things for the positive,” says Aburto. “Sustainable thinking is the only way to create lasting improvement in the living conditions of humans and animals on this earth.”

Bayer stands for sustainable innovation and products. This company philosophy fits in perfectly with the story behind the image.

This is why Aburto did not hesitate for a moment to make his picture available for the employer brand. “Bayer stands for sustainable innovation and products,” he says. “This company philosophy fits in perfectly with the story behind the image.” Aburto now hopes that his picture will inspire many people around the world.

So why this picture? Simple: “For us, it was important for the employer brand photo not only to catch the eye but also to get a message across, and highlight the mindset that we want to appeal to internally and externally,” says Christine Knebel who, with Farsana Jakubi, is leading the project. “This picture illustrates the story of a very successful sustainability project – and sustainable innovation is one of the crucial drivers at Bayer,” adds Jakubi.

This example shows that with plenty of passion, commitment and tenacity, it is possible to join together to question things and change them for the better. These are also core elements of our new employer brand.

Farsana Jakubi

The employer brand picture illustrates the story of a very successful sustainability project – and sustainable innovation is one of the crucial drivers at Bayer.

Join us, if you share our passion and commitment to change our world for the better. Because we invent solutions that will create a sustainable future for our planet.

Photo check

  • Name:
    David against Goliath
  • Photographer:
    Octavio Aburto
  • Location:
    Cabo Pulmo Marine National Park
  • Taken:
    November 2012
  • Became famous:
    The picture went viral in December 2012 after it was published by the National Geographic Magazine and photographer Octavio Aburto.
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Last update: Jan 25, 2018   Copyright © Bayer AG