Advertising is a funny thing. It can make you chuckle, wince, laugh, cry, roll your eyes, crack a smile...but mostly it can make you feel nothing. Often in my household, it's the grey matter, the background noise that occupies the space between real life and fantasy, substance and escape.
But every once in awhile, you encounter a campaign that changes the way you think. Alters your perception of an everyday thing. Inspires you to see the world—or yourself—in a completely different light.
Samsung’s “Photography Lessons with the Blind” is one of those campaigns.
Background: In Korea, Samsung Electronics holds by far the largest market share for compact digital cameras. But the brand wanted to increase mind share—going beyond simply building good cameras to creating a brand with deep philosophical substance.
The Idea: They handed out cameras to 11 visually impaired students, taught them basic photography skills, and then travelled with them to various locations. Over 50 days, the students captured all that they could sense onto their cameras. Amazed at the outcome, Samsung opened an exhibition with their best photos—all of which had been turned into 3D sculptures so that the photographers could actually feel their pictures.
Beyond boosting Samsung’s mind share and earning Cheil Global a prestigious Cannes Lion, the campaign taught something even more valuable: That the mind sees what the eyes cannot, and that vision is but one way to view the world.
For those of us blessed with the gift of sight, do we use it? Are we present in those moments? Or is there more to see than meets the eye? More to observe, more to appreciate, more to feel with our heads and our hearts?
As the saying goes, “Life isn't about how many breaths you take but how many times your breath is taken away.”