We believe in creating human-driven innovation: Trivikram Thakore, VP, Samsung India
Samsung’s latest ad film is centered around its Good Vibes app for the deaf-blind. Trivikram Thakore, Vice President, Samsung India, speaks to us about the idea behind the campaign and more
Samsung India’s latest ad film ‘Caring For The Impossible’ around its Good Vibes app — that seeks to be a communication tool for those afflicted by both visual and hearing disabilities — seems to be winning hearts.
Created by Cheil, the film tells the story of a young deaf-blind girl who uses the Good Vibes app to reach out to her family. Trivikram Thakore, Vice President, Samsung India, spoke to exchange4media on the campaign, how the brand is giving voice to Good Vibes app and more.
Thakore asserted that for everything that Samsung does, the attempt is to put the consumer at the centre, which is always the starting point for the brand. “Just like we believe in creating human-driven innovation, every time we tell a story, we try and tell a human-driven story. So this campaign does exactly that,” he said.
In this case, Samsung’s creative brief to their agency-Cheil was not just to highlight life for the deaf-blind but also the possibilities that the Good Vibes app can create for the deaf-blind and their families. “We like telling stories that people can relate to, that people can emote with. Our brief was to tell a human-centered story that highlights the dual disability of being both deaf and blind. It is something that is very difficult to explain as it is a hidden phenomenon, as I may call it. We just wanted to highlight how tough life is for the deaf-blind and clearly highlight how the app can help battle through their biggest barrier which is communication. So that really formed the core of our brief,” Thakore revealed.
Moreover, what helped the agency crack this brief was their first-hand experience on the issue. “This was not a typical communication brief that you write out. So we familiarised the agency too and immersed them in some program that gave them a first-hand experience of it. Because they were a part of the process and the workshop with the blind, the teachers, the care-givers, they came very close to the subject. We did trainings across Bangalore, Delhi, and Ahmedabad where we had students from across the country. They saw them work with the app and interact with the care-givers. They had moments with them. So they were right at the centre of it,” he added.
Developed in India, the app enables the deaf and blind to have a two-way communication with their caregivers and loved ones using their smartphones. The Good Vibes app uses Morse code to convert vibrations into text or voice and vice-versa. The app has two different user interfaces (UI). It is currently available for download from Samsung’s Galaxy store but is expected to be made available to all Android users via Google Play.
In terms of pre-work, Samsung has been giving voice to the app for the last one year. The objective is clear: to take this far and wide and train people. The brand has also tied up with an NGO called Sense India organise workshops across their centres. “We will be giving them the devices with which they can communicate with. We want to take the app out and make it work for people,” Thakore added. As for the campaign, the smartphone brand has decided to stick to digital as a medium since it’s a long-format film. In terms of media vehicles, it will be amplified through Facebook and YouTube.
Apart from GoodVibes, Samsung also launched Relumino, a visual aid application that enables those with low vision to see images with greater clarity.
‘Good vibes’ only?
Commenting on the piece, Anusheela Saha Group Creative Director, FCB Ulka, says, “I remember Good Vibes vividly. For the first time the deaf and blind community had a two way communication tool. What they have now done is true progress. Now the deaf and blind can communicate beyond their own community. The content piece is sweet. And some might even get teary eyed. But the product innovation is so good and that's what shines through this piece of work.”
Ankur Garg, Sr. Creative Director & AVP, Dentsu Impact, feels that it is a great example of an idea where technology helps to further the cause of expression for those who can’t really express themselves. “The Good Vibes app showcases Samsung’s humanity through their intent to bring hope and joy to the lives of the mute-deaf-blind and their families, with the power of imagination and technology. A truly commendable endeavor by a tech brand to use their resources for good,” Garg opines.
However, Jagdish Acharya, Founder and Creative Head of Cut The Crap, has a different take. “As a piece of communication it evokes emotions as any narrative about emancipation from suffering would do. As creative it’s a plain Jane - mushy in your face with no surprises. However as a piece of advertising from a large company it begs the question - when the target for this feature is so enormously challenged why spend good money tom tomming it to the world even before it might have actually benefited even one ? Why not spend resources on reaching out to the blind-deaf, train and equip them with the feature and if it really changes their life only then stake your claim. The halo that the brand seeks is premature and shallow until proven in practice,” Acharya remarks.
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