WEBBY x INSTAGRAM ALL-STARS is a new interview series produced in partnership with Instagram for Business, featuring this year’s best Webby-winning projects for Instagram. Stay tuned for more Q&As.
How do you visualize what visually impaired heroes see? Advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi LA has an answer: @SEELIKEMENNA
They, alongside Toyota, set out to shine the spotlight on Paralympians, and the incredible challenges they overcome to be amongst the world’s best athletes. They did so by creating a multimedia Instagram experience that lets users see through the eyes of 19-year old Paralympic skier Menna Fitzpatrick (who has 3% vision). The project won the 2019 Webby for Best Cause Related Campaign.
Learn from Alice Blastorah, Associate Creative Director and Art Director at Saatchi & Saatchi LA, about the project and how they disrupted our tendency to endlessly scroll.
@SEELIKEMENNA is a powerful Instagram experience that tells the story of visually impaired skier Menna Fitzpatrick. What message did you want to send to audiences with this project?
Unfortunately, Paralympians don’t get nearly as much accolade and attention as Olympians do. And as the first-ever mobility sponsor for both the Olympic and Paralympic games, Toyota was on a mission to elevate people’s perceptions of the Paralympics and its athletes. We needed to prove how incredible Paralympians really are, but we couldn’t just tell people, we had to show it.
Why is Instagram in particular an important platform to share Menna’s story in a unique fashion, and how has Instagram helped @SEELIKEMENNA reach their community and beyond?
Using the highly visual platform Instagram was integral to the idea. For a 100% visual platform, we created disruptive content that accurately reflected Menna’s 3% vision. @SeeLikeMenna became a portal to Menna’s unique POV and the magnitude of her achievements. Using Instagram helped reach a younger generation of potential Paralympic fans. And because of this, in 2018, there was a 50% rise in mobile viewership of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The @SEELIKEMENNA page is very native to Instagram, but it also disrupts the ways sighted individuals take the visual platform for granted. How did you think about this when strategizing for this account?
We scroll through the Internet endlessly day in and day out without ever thinking about it. So we thought what better way to disrupt the visual user experience of Instagram than to let people see what Menna sees, which is only 3% of what an Instagram user is used to seeing.
Where else do you derive inspiration on Instagram, and how did you apply that to the content you created for the @SEELIKEMENNA project?
It was absolutely critical that the content accurately reflected Menna’s 3% vision so all of the content was true to her POV. The experience needed to be anchored in authenticity, so we worked with Menna and a team of Ophthalmologists at the Royal National Institute for the Blind to develop the content that accurately reflected her vision.
You won the Webby Award for Best Cause Related Campaign and Native Advertising. What was that like?
The Internet has become a battleground, from trolling to fake news to spreading messages of hate. So we, the world, have to fight back and use the Internet as a tool for good! We can do phenomenal world-changing things with the Internet. So it was an incredible honor to be recognized for this year’s Best Cause-Related Campaign at the Webbys. The theme “Internet we want” is more important than ever.