VMLY&R: Dell’s Unseen Ballet

Girl sat on her Mother's knee watching the ballet with Dell's eSight glasses on

VMLY&R: Dell’s Unseen Ballet

How Dell used technology to give people with visual impairments an unforgettable experience

Many people living with visual impairments can feel excluded from cultural events and don't always know about the technologies that can help them to access and participate in those experiences. And even if they do, it can be expensive to test out the new assistive technologies.

Dell Technologies believes that technology has the power to overcome these barriers.

Dell and the VMLY&R team worked in partnership with Ballet Austin and eSight, a leader in assistive technology, to equip visually impaired people with special glasses that enabled them to view a live performance of The Nutcracker.

They found more than 150 members of the visually impaired community in Austin who were willing to try the eSight devices with guidance from technology partners, even before it was revealed that the devices would be theirs free of charge.


Both the event, called Unseen Ballet, and the audience’s video stories touched people’s hearts and its coverage exceeded expectations. Unseen Ballet was covered by local Austin broadcast news affiliates, marketing industry press and national publications such as People, reaching a potential audience of more than 37 million.

Among viewers, Dell saw an impressive 84% brand recall and a 61% increase in intent to purchase.  

After the event, the success of the night continued to filter in from the community. Within Dell, the Employee Resource Group for team members impacted by disabilities, True Ability ERG, said: "Our employees and their families are forever grateful for the gift of sight that they received on behalf of Dell Technologies."

Outside of Dell, one of the parents of children who received eSight devices said: “I didn’t know that you were giving away the units [and] thought they were only going to use them for the ballet… we appreciate this more than you could know.” Another said: “You have changed [his] life forever.”

One of the more sizeable impacts in the community came after the audience's videos stories were published. One featured participant, Lily, received an outpouring of support on her GoFundMe page and achieved her family’s $10,000 goal in under a month.

The Unseen Ballet was a success not only from a business standpoint but in how it touched the lives of many and Dell now plans to make this an annual activation.