MOSCOW – Striking landscape shots taken by a blind photographer sit at the heart of ‘Over the Horizon’ – a new campaign for Samsung created by Cheil Worldwide Russia and developed in partnership with The White Cane, a charity that supports visually-challenged people in Russia.
The campaign’s objective was to inspire ordinary people to push beyond their own comfort zone and understand that daily life has much more to offer than they expect. To help them see their potential, the agency created a story around Alexander Zhuravlev – a photographer with only 2% residual vision.
Alexander became blind at the age of 11 as the result of an illness. Despite seeing almost nothing he is a passionate skier, a traveller and an enthusiastic photographer. He lives at full throttle and believes that disability will only hold you back if you allow it to.
Driven by wanderlust, Alexander visited India alone and has travelled further since. He says that he can feel the world around him through the rest of his senses. And 2% vision is enough to see what is most important: sunlight, colours and the horizon.
During his latest journey, to South Ural, the Russian region famous for its severe climate and beautiful landscape, Alexander took a series of photographs using a Samsung Galaxy smartphone which were used by Cheil Russia to create a social project comprising an online video, a website and a photography exhibition.
Photos shot by Zhuravlev were presented in two forms: one to demonstrate what he could see with 2% vision; the other presenting the full image of the same view as captured by the Samsung phone.
The images were displayed on a project website – horizon.samsung.ru. Features on the website included the innovative special ‘inner sight’ section enabling users to experience the world through Zhuravlev’s restricted vision.
The campaign also featured an exhibition of Alexander’s images in Moscow’s Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, where the gallery space was designed to convey the world as ‘seen’ by the photographer, and to guide visitors towards a deeper understanding of how he creates his images.
The project was promoted by the largest visual Shazam search ever used in advertising. Members of the public were able to access the project website by Shazam-ing the 28-storey Samsung smartphone covering the Hydroproject Research Center building, dubbed the biggest “smartphone” in Europe.
The film, also called ‘Over the Horizon’, is being shown on Samsung official YouTube channels and social networks in Russia. Besides achieving its primary goal to inspire people, this initiative is also helping raise funds for The White Cane through sales of Alexander’s images. All proceeds will be donated to the charity.
“Technologies make the impossible possible,” says Seif El Hakim, Samsung Mobile Marketing Director for Russia. “The Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone allowed Alexander Zhuravlev to make extraordinary pictures. ‘Over the Horizon’ was created to inspire each individual to enrich life despite their fears by looking beyond the horizon of their own possibilities.”
The project runs until the end of April.