Matthew Miller
Dec 24, 2015

AIA Korea helps a mother sing for her daughter's birthday

KOREA - AIA Korea undertook a project that moved more than 10,000 people to 'donate' their voices in order to help a mother with a speech impediment sing for the first time.

Client: AIA Korea

Agency: The Creamunion

Market: Korea

Name of campaign: 'Miracle voice restoration project'

Campaign scope: Videos documenting the development of a device that translates sign language into an audible voice.

Details: Working with a variety of voice and electronics experts, the company and agency developed a motion-sensing device that translates sign language into vocal output in real time. The device allowed Eunju Kim, a mother of three with an incurable speech impediment, to sing a birthday song to her 11-year-old daughter for the first time.

To build the synthesised voice, the company issued a call to action during SSK7, a popular music talent-search TV show, asking people to 'donate' samples of their voices for the effort. More than 10,000 did so, and from these the developers selected a 'donor' whose voice most closely matched what Kim would be expected to sound like (see the behind-the-scenes video below).

The video showing Kim 'singing' to her daughter (above) has been viewed more than 9 million times on YouTube and Facebook since its debut in late November.

Campaign Asia Pacific's comments: The video above is undeniably moving. Even though we can see that Kim communicates with her children just fine without the device, the act of singing her birthday wishes is clearly emotional for her and the kids.

We're happy to see the fine print at the end of the videos that claims "AIA is participating in commercially developing the 'First Voice' device so that those with language and hearing impediments can smoothly communicate". In fact, we believe AIA should have touted that fact more loudly. If people don't know the project is part of that larger effort, there's a danger this could be perceived as a one-off project done solely in order to produce a tearjerker viral video. Supporting the wider development of the technology ties the entire effort more tightly to the company's brand promise, because it means 'The real life company' is really trying to help more real, live people.    

 

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