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Viral Now: Two friends, eight years and Skype

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | November 11, 2013
Skype asked its users to send in stories of how they've stayed connected with friends and family using the video chat software, where Sarah and Paige's story featured.

It's the stuff movies are made of - two people who have never met in real life become friends and sometimes even fall in love, leading to plots and sub plots guaranteeing a hit! If you've ever wondered whether such melodrama is possible in real life, you should see the Skype ad.

The Skype viral ad

Sarah and Paige have been best friends for eight years. They originally bonded over the fact that each had to grow up without an arm. But their friendship is about more than that now and they tell each other everything - all that without ever meeting in real life.

Sarah lives in Nappanee, Indiana, and Paige lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Their friendship began and blossomed over Skype. The girls bonded over the challenges they faced after being born without an arm, but their only contact has been through the internet.

Skype asked its users to send in stories of how they've stayed connected with friends and family using the video chat software. But when the company heard about Sarah and Paige's story, it decided to do more than just write about it. Instead, a surprise reunion was planned and the activity was transformed into a YouTube video which has gone viral. The campaign was designed by US agency Pereira & O'Dell.

Uploaded on YouTube on October 30, the video has so far recorded more than one million views on the platform. Skype not only reduced the distance between the girls but also decided to go one step further.

Besides the online push, there is an entire media plan around the Sarah and Paige video. The video was first aired on ABC's Katie Couric's nationally syndicated daytime TV talk show, and Sarah and Paige were guests on the show.

The first of the Stay Together portraits launched in June 2013 highlights 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.

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