Cause + Action: Samsung looks autism in the eye

The electronics co created an app that helps kids with autism learn interpersonal skills, and launched it in Canada.
Samsung autism 1

INSPIRATION

Many children with autism struggle to make eye contact, making it challenging for them to emotionally connect with loved ones. It’s been found that, with or without autism, children tend to gravitate towards touch-screen tablets, and so Samsung saw an opportunity to use its tablets and technology to help make a difference for families living with autism.

STRATEGY

Samsung in Korea (alongside a team of psychologists and psychiatrists) developed an interactive camera app called Look at Me. The app is meant to help children with autism improve eye contact, better recognize facial expressions
and build more powerful social connections.

EXECUTION

Partnering with Autism Speaks Canada, Samsung launched the “Look at Me Project” exclusively in Canada, a program that would see 200 Galaxy Tab S devices preloaded with the app and donated to Canadian families living with autism who applied.

The “Look at Me Project” was designed, with the help of North Strategic, Cheil and Starcom, to create a shared community and connect families with similar experiences. Parents and caregivers were encouraged to share, learn and connect through a Facebook community page. Samsung created an online campaign that placed video and banner ads across Today’s Parent, Rogers, MSN and online parenting sites.

The video content was seen on digital OOH boards at Toronto’s Union Station, and families who received a Samsung tablet participated in media interviews and shared their experiences with the app.

RESULTS

In one month, more than 2,800 applications for the project were received, exceeding the anticipated target by 62%. There were more than seven million earned media impressions, and coverage included a feature story in the Toronto Star and pickup by international outlets like PSFK and Adweek. Of all visitors to the site, a total of 11% applied for the chance to take home one of the tablets.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS

“Samsung’s partnership with Autism Speaks Canada is a great example of a tech company aligning with a cause in a simple, yet inventive way. By harnessing its core competency, focusing on a very specific need and serving it up on their technology, they achieved a very authentic brand-enhancing campaign.”
– Marie Magnin, KBS