Webby for Good is a collaborative program formed by The Webby Awards and WP Engine to showcase Webby-recognized projects built to change the world.
WHAT ARE WE GONNA SAY? Saatchi & Saatchi LA
What started out as a simple Instagram account snowballed into a global conversation around the Paralympics. - Saatchi & Saatchi Team
What’s the elevator pitch for your project?
An Instagram experience that lets you see the world through the eyes of visually impaired skier and Paralympic gold medalist, Menna Fitzpatrick. To give people a deeper understanding of the magnitude of her achievements, we used a 100% visual platform to showcase Menna’s 3% vision. Ultimately elevating the Paralympics and Toyota’s mission – mobility for all.
What was the impetus for this project? What real-world challenge were you trying to solve?
The sad truth is, 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 the Paralympics and its athletes. But first, we needed to change the way people perceive the games – and the magnitude of their achievements.
We couldn’t just tell people how incredible Paralympians are, we had to show it.
So when we had the idea of taking the most visual platform, Instagram, and flipping it on its head to showcase visually impaired athletes, we knew we had something special.
Once you settled on your idea, what was your first step in moving it forward?
We knew we had something great on our hands, and luckily, we had brave clients who truly believe in their mission “mobility for all.” Next, we needed to see if Menna was interested in giving people access to her unique POV. Luckily for us, she was.
Was there a moment during the project where you ran into a hurdle; or faced a problem you didn’t know how to solve? Take us to this moment, what happened and what did you do next?
There is a misconception that if you’re blind you just see pitch black, but this is only true for a tiny fraction of the blind community. Our Paralympian had 3% vision, so figuring out exactly what she sees took a lot of Menna meticulously describing what she sees to our team of ophthalmologists at the Royal National Institute for the Blind.
Did the real-world impact meet your expectations? Can you share an example?
Real-world impact exceeded our expectations. What started out as a simple Instagram account
snowballed into a global conversation around the Paralympics. Even Menna herself exceeded our expectations by not just winning one, but four medals at the Games, making her Britain’s most decorated Winter Paralympian of all time. A combination of the @SeeLikeMenna real-time response to the Games and of Menna’s huge success at the Paralympics generated interest from major international publications around the world that helped the 2018 Paralympics become the most watched games in history. The campaign itself garnered over 1 billion media impressions.
What technologies/media did you use to develop this project (AI, Social Media, WordPress, etc.)?
Content that reflected her vision was developed with input from Menna and a team of Ophthalmologists at the Royal National Institute for the Blind. It was absolutely critical that the content accurately reflect Menna’s 3% vision, so all of the content created was true to her POV. The experience needed to be anchored in authenticity, so for the first time ever, people could experience what it’s like to be a visually impaired Paralympian competing for gold.
Was the tech/medium you chose crucial to conveying your message? If so, why?
Absolutely. 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. And we did so on mobile, because in 2018, there was a 50% rise in mobile viewership of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
How did this project defy your expectations?
With @SeeLikeMenna live two weeks prior to the Paralympics, the campaign earned top top tier placements in publications around the world including the BBC News, Mashable, The Times, The Telegraph, Huffpost, and Forbes to name a few. Interest continued to build as Menna kept winning race after race, going on to become Britain’s most decorated winter Paralympian ever. At the height of the Paralympics, Menna had over 10,000 followers with an average view of 2,000 per post. The press kept featuring the project and total global impressions topped 15 billion. Helping make the 2018 Paralympic games the most watched games in history.
How will you use technology in future work to create inspiring, cutting-edge projects that also make a difference in people’s lives?
Technology is bettering lives every single day. Drawing inspiration from our Toyota client, that uses technology to help people move freely, we will continue to let tech drive our innovation in our work. It’s our belief that cutting-edge technology paired with bold thinking has the power to change people’s lives.