This summer, Pereira & O'Dell introduced for Skype three short stories for its "Stay Together" campaign that focus on family and friends keeping in touch over long distances. Their accounts are wildly different, heartfelt approaches to living apart from loved ones.
The fourth of the series, titled "The Born Friends Family Portrait," comes from an online call for real stories at skype.com/staytogether that asked people to share their stories of how they stay together with Skype. The most remarkable was that of Sarah from Nappanee, Indiana, about her unique friendship with Paige from Auckland, New Zealand.
When Sarah's mom was pregnant, she discovered that Sarah would be born without a left arm and searched for other families with the same situation. After she connected with Paige's mother, who also had a baby girl without a left arm, the two became fast friends over email through shared support and information. When Sarah was a little girl, she reached out to Paige and soon they started using Skype for hours, nearly every day. For over eight years, the two have been able to talk face-to-face, and it has been life-changing for each of them to have someone who could help them through adolescence.
Growing up together on opposite ends of the world, Sarah and Paige are as close as sisters but have never met in person until this year. The video chronicles an introduction of a lifetime when the two girls and their mothers meet in person in Paige's hometown of Auckland.
"We received over 1,000 heartfelt stories of how people stay together on Skype," said Elisa Steele, Chief Marketing Officer at Skype. "Sarah and Paige's story was not only unique but incredibly inspirational, and we wanted to bring them together in real life."
"This campaign shows the human side of the technology behind Skype. Stay Together is about how Skype allows people to create and share those little moments that make life special," said PJ Pereira, Chief Creative Officer at Pereira & O'Dell.
The first of the Stay Together portraits launched in June 2013 and highlights the technology's ability to affect lives. For each story, photographer John Clang captures portraits where everyone is able to pose side by side through a Skype projection on the wall, literally bringing digital and physical worlds together.
"The Born Friends Family Portrait" first aired on the nationally syndicated daytime talk show "Katie" on October 30th and featured Sarah and Paige as special guests on the show. The full video is currently running online, accompanied by a social media campaign, and the 60-second version will run on-air as part of a partnership with The Oprah Winfrey Network.