Imagine living in one of the world’s poorest communities where education is in short supply and the opportunities for children to be creative or interface with digital tools are virtually non-existent. This was the situation in Laomei, a Taiwanese town in the Shimen District north of the country. Its children were directly affected by the lack of resources and as a result, sadly lacked confidence in themselves. The team at dentsu Taiwan recognised this serious issue and were so concerned about the low levels of education in the town, and potentially damaging impact on the future generations and society, that they decided to take action.
Thinking Creatively About Social Impact
Determined to initiate change, the team created a three-year social impact programme called Showmei’s Fantasy World (Showmei is a nickname for children from Laomei) to support Laomei’s education system and unleash the creativity of the young.
Through digital technology, children were taught how to showcase their creativity and abilities by creating murals on the walls of local buildings using pictures they’d painted. The children provided narration to video content explaining the murals and introducing Laomei, while eight designated locations were selected where content could be viewed via smartphone. Visitors could explore the town through an immersive digital experience with the children narrating the geographical and cultural history. Additionally, children were given the opportunity to experience VR content created based on picture books that they’d written themselves.
A Happier, Livelier Town
Showmei’s Fantasy World attracted significant attention with videos achieving 5.2 million views on social media, more than 10,000 AR filter impressions and 9.2m views on Google Maps
When asked what the project meant to them, one young person said, “I feel proud whenever I have friends visiting Laomei.”
The Shimen District Office of the New Taipei City Government explained, “Laomei has now become a livelier town with happier families and increasing visitors. This program is beyond successful, and we hope to see this program reach out to other cities.”
Educating and Motivating Teams
Showmei’s Fantasy World not only had a deep positive impact on the town but it also brought Dentsu Aegis employees together. Collaboration across the network and teams globally totalled 13,352 hours – testament to the fact that a combined and shared purpose is an effective way of providing the essential cultural glue to any organisation.