Our Partner:

Pereira & O’Dell and Skype

Type of Company:

Global telecommunications software company


Palo Alto, California

Key Date:

Q2 - Q3 2013

Focused on the way friends and family use Skype over long distances, the “Stay Together” campaign was anchored by five stories that span the globe. From a Ugandan family separated by war, to two friends who live on opposite sides of the world and had never met, these stories showed how technology like Skype can bridge vast physical divides and circumstances.

The site was created in partnership with Pereira & O’Dell.

Shorten the Distance

Sharing Everybody’s Story


Benefit of technology is that it can shorten the distance between people

In addition to housing these compelling stories, documented by renown photographer, John Clang, the site allowed users to submit their own stories about how Skype “shortened the distance” between them and their loved ones. Our team needed to create a scalable site that could include several phases of content needs, including additional featured stories as well as thousands of user-submitted narratives. The site was built with this change in mind.

Skype Stay Together was a clear case where the rich content being created for and submitted through the site needed to lead all other aspects of the build. From our early architectural conversations to designing the style of buttons throughout the site, we wanted the personal narratives to shine through — people are at the heart of every decision made on the site.


Web Development

Brand Partnership

Product, Communications, and Brand Strategy

APIs and Auth

Continuous integration


Scalable Systems Architecture

Responsive Web UI Design

Interaction Design


Shorten the Distance

Reconnecting from Far Away


Physical distance can be overcome with interesting tools

Working within the brand guidelines is simply the cost of entry. Pushing those guidelines to work within this specific context is another matter. Our design team took great care to maintain a focus on the actual stories that were part of Skype Stay Together.

And context really is everything. We created a way for people to both see and read the stories created as part of the site. But we also worked to amplify each user’s voice — so they could share their own version of staying together.

To that end, we created a Facebook-enabled map where users could locate their far away family and friends. This feature moved beyond simply showing where a person’s furthest friends are — it placed their friends, and the distance between them, in context. Within seconds, users could see where their friends were in relation to each other. This feature became one of the site’s greatest assets, helping friends reconnect despite time and distance.

The entire site experience worked for whatever context a user was viewing it, whether that was on mobile, a tablet, or a desktop. This required designing very specific interactions and creating style guidelines, as well as making a process for custom mapping, contest entry, and a mix of compelling photos and video.

Shorten the Distance

Pushing Boundaries

We built Skype Stay Together with adaptation in mind. The nature of the project meant that new hero stories would need to be be added to the site in addition to blog posts that offered behind-the-scenes content—and that individual people would be adding their own stories to the site.

To accomplish all of this, our team built the site on a customized WordPress framework. We wanted to make the site as easy to update as possible, and remove any unnecessary elements from the CMS. This meant that people could quickly export and upload new assets over the course of the project.

But we faced a deeper challenge: creating a fully customized map that used a person’s Facebook contacts to plot their individual locations around the world. To accomplish this, we created an option for users to authorize Facebook to see the locations of their friends on the map. We built a script to understand which of those friends were the 10 farthest away, and offered an easy way to reconnect via Skype.

While this portion of the site was quite complex under the hood — connecting several different services — we built a system that felt effortless, dynamic, and fast to the people it.


Cannes Lions - Commercial Public Services - Silver 2014

Cannes Lions - Cyber, Webisodes - Silver 2014

Cannes Lions - Cyber, Storytelling - Bronze 2013

Cannes Lions - Branded Content - Bronze 2014

Cannes Lions - Cyber, Curation of Images - Bronze 2014

AICP Next Award for Product Integration 2014

One Show Branded Entertainment - GOLD 2014

One Show Branded Entertainment – BRONZE 2014

One Show Interactive - BRONZE 2014

ADDY Awards, GOLD 2014

Creative Media Awards, GOLD 2014

Press in Mashable, ABC News, Creativity, Fast Co. Create, and the Skype blog