Unseen Ballet

CHALLENGE

Many people living with visual impairments do not know about the latest technology being developed, and the journey to try these devices can be overwhelming and expensive.

Dell Technologies is full of optimists who truly believe tech has the power to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges, break down barriers, and create opportunity for all. Dell works hard to bring this belief, and its commitment to inclusion, to life through its brand – from its advertising to the experiences of its customers and communities and the world.  

The team was inspired by a Dell television spot that featured a visually impaired woman at a ballet performance. Through a pair of advanced technology glasses, she was able to see a dancer twirling on stage for the first time. We wondered – could we bring this idea to life and give back to the community? Our answer was a resounding yes. After all, we’re optimists! And so, The Unseen Ballet was born.

IDEA

In partnership with Ballet Austin and eSight, a leader in assistive technology, the team equipped visually impaired people with special glasses that enabled them to view a live performance of The Nutcracker for the first time. With more than 150 community members in attendance, it was a truly special event that brought families together through an experience that not only promoted inclusion, but also demonstrated how technology can break down barriers and open the door to new possibilities. 

Within the Austin community, we found willing participants who eagerly wanted the opportunity to try the eSight devices with guidance from technology partners – even before we revealed that the devices would be theirs free of charge. 

Through these conversations, we met Lily, a little girl who inspired us with her confidence, limitless imagination, and dreams to be a ballerina, despite having never seen the ballet before due to her condition. Lily and her family were among our honored guests to a performance of Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker using their new eSight devices and we are thrilled to share her story. You can watch it below.

 

RESULTS

The event and our guests’ stories touched people’s hearts and exceeded our expectations. We hosted 150+ community members with event coverage by local Austin broadcast news affiliates, as well as national publications such as People and marketing industry press, reaching a potential audience of 37MM+. Among viewers, we saw an impressive 84% brand recall, and a 61% increase in intent to purchase. On Twitter we garnered almost 4MM impressions and over 8K site visits, with 260K impressions on LinkedIn. 

After the event, the success of that night continued to filter in from the community. Within Dell Technologies, their Employee Resource Group for team members impacted by disabilities, “TrueAbility,” said: "Our employees and their families are forever grateful for the gift of sight that they received on behalf of Dell Technologies." Outside of Dell, a few parents of children who received eSight devices said, “I didn’t know that you were giving away the units [and] thought they were only going to use them for the ballet… we appreciate this more than you could know” and “...you have changed [his] life forever.”

One of the more sizable impacts in the community came after the videos were published. Our featured participant, Lily, received an outpour of attention to her GoFundMe page and achieved the family’s $10,000 goal in under a month. Not only was The Unseen Ballet a success from a business standpoint, but with how it touched the lives of many, Dell Technologies plans to make this an annual activation across the country.

Read more of Lily’s story featured in People magazine.