Cannes Lions

Unseen Ballet

VMLY&R, New York / DELL / 2020


2 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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SITUATION: How do we prove that technology can move humanity forward?

BRIEF: To create an experience that showed how technology could benefit members of the visually-impaired community.

OBJECTIVE: To partner with a leading visual-assistive eyewear manufacturer and provide visually-impaired people with a life-changing experience they would never forget.


To prove that Dell Technologies can help move humanity forward, they partnered with e-Sight Eyewear to provide state-of-the-art visual-assistive glasses to members of the visually impaired community in Austin, Texas. Then they hosted a special one-night performance of the Nutcracker by the Ballet Austin so the recipients – and their family members -- could experience it like never before. It was an evening that proved that the greatest give technology can give us – is hope.


Technology has the ability to serve a higher purpose in society. We all benefit when technology drives human progress, making the world a better, more inclusive place. But the ideas and innovations that inspire us are powerless if all they are is talk. As Dell Technologies, we look to make these experiences into reality, especially for our customers and the communities we serve, driving inclusion and opportunity or all.

Once we established this project was not just speaking to Dell Technologies’ audience of technophiles and business decision-makers alike, but also the visually impaired community, our insight turned into a mission to feature all the good technology can do for audiences of all needs. Within the Austin community, we found willing participants who offered their stories for the opportunity to try the eSight devices – and for a special group, receive them for free.


Dell Technologies selected 22 worthy, visually-impaired people to receive a free pair of state-of-the-art, visual-assistive glasses provided by e-Sight Eyewear. Each person was specially fitted, then invited to an exclusive holiday performance of the Nutcracker by the Ballet Austin. The technology in the glasses allowed them to experience it like never before -- giving them an evening they'll never forget. And proving that technologies greatest gift is the potential to give all of us hope for a better future.


With an overarching goal to create a community event exemplifying how technology can break down barriers and promote inclusion, 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. 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.

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