The Look at Me Project - Samsung Canada & Autism Speaks Canada
The Look At Me Project, a collaboration between Samsung Electronics Canada and Autism Speaks Canada, set out to positively help families living with autism. They joined together to promote The Look at Me Project, which sought to amplify positive stories and first-person interactions with a special app that features daily, eight minute exercises that utilize the rear-facing camera on a mobile device. So many children with autism struggle to make eye contact, and the app, developed with the help of psychologists and psychiatrists, helps to develop gesture-based communication and eye-contact capabilities. The app was created as a way to translate Samsung’s brand ideal into reality—to put technology to use to make the world a better place.
With the help of Autism Speaks Canada, Samsung first identified 200 families living with autism, who received Samsung tablets pre-loaded with the Look at Me app. Then, those families were invited to share their unique stories and experiences with regional and national news outlets, which led to much emotional news coverage. In addition, Fi Ferraro, the mother of three children on the Autism Spectrum, became an advocate for the project, and spoke publicly about her family’s experiences, including during an appearance on the show Breakfast Television Toronto on April 1, 2015—World Autism Awareness Day, which kicked off Autism Awareness Month.
During that month, Samsung Canada participated in Autism Speaks’ global “Light It Up Blue” initiative, turning the Samsung Younge-Dundas Square billboard—Canada’s largest billboard—blue that day. It also featured creative of two of Fi Ferraro’s children—Emma Rose, 7, and Christian, 9, in a compelling visual campaign.
Samsung hosted a Mother’s Day brunch with more than 15 of Canada’s top parenting media, mom bloggers, and parenting influencers who heard presentations on autism from experts and Ms. Ferraro. Attendees left the brunch with Samsung tablets pre-loaded with the Look At Me App to give away to readers and viewers.
The results exceeded expectations: More than 5.5 million impressions and 19,000 clicks resulted in paid media driving 94 percent of the traffic to the site. A total of 13 plus million earned media impressions plus more than 30 unique pieces of coverage, including feature stories in a national newspaper, national broadcast shows, and in such international publications as Adweek, Mashable.com and Forbes. The number of participants exceeded the anticipated target by 62 percent. After initial outreach, 200 children received Samsung tablets with the Look At Me app, and users reported considerable increase of eye contact by their children. The app remains free on the Google Play store and has been downloaded more than 10,000 times. It has become another tool in the “toolbelt” of families living with Autism.