VMLY&R works with four-pronged partnership to aid those with MND

The partnership consists of Dell Technologies, Intel, the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Rolls-Royce

By Creative Salon

Dell Technologies and Intel, in partnership with the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Rolls-Royce, have worked with VMLY&R to create “I Will Always Be Me,” a first-of-its-kind book for people living with motor neurone disease (MND) that banks their voices as they read aloud.

MND is a neurodegenerative condition that deteriorates muscular nerve cells, ultimately taking away a person’s ability to speak over time. By integrating voice banking technology with the difficult task of explaining MND to loved ones, the project simplifies and humanizes the experience and encourages individuals to take action earlier in their diagnosis.

Written by New York Times bestselling author Jill Twiss, the book is created from the perspective of a person living with MND and explains what they will be going through in a thoughtful, informative way through an immersive digital experience. To launch the project, a documentary was made showing a group of people with MND and their families as they experience the book for the first time.

How it works:

  • When visiting the website, people can learn about the program on the homepage and start the recording experience. The book opens, and as the user reads through the book to their loved ones, their voice is automatically recorded.

  • Every sound necessary to create a digital voice is embedded in the story naturally, so by the time the reader completes the book, their digital voice can be processed quickly.

  • Once all pages are recorded, they can review their recording and re-record pieces as necessary.

  • If they’re ready to get a digital/synthetic voice created, they can share their recording with SpeakUnique to request a digital voice.

  • They can also share their recorded version of the book with friends and family via a unique link.

Supporting those living with MND:

  • Voice banking is an empowering way to maintain identity and personal expression by creating a digital replica that can be used as the disease progresses. The process involves extracting specific sounds from the recording and aligning them with pre-written text. An algorithm then extrapolates unique voice characteristics (and based on gender, age, accent, etc.) to create a synthetic voice that can be installed on any assistive technology device.

  • Starts the process earlier (while voice is intact), as that's the best way to get a good digital voice before the person living with MND fully loses their own voice.

  • Humanizes the experience - can bank one’s voice from home, using their own device, surrounded by loved ones as a shared/meaningful experience.

  • Allows people living with MND to bank one's voice as a seamless, connected experience vs. the current way of reading disconnected phrases into a microphone.

“It’s not often you get to build your client’s brand and push humanity forward, all at the same time,” said Wayne Best, CCO, VMLY&R New York. “Through the power of creativity, collaboration and technology, we've created an advanced voice banking tool that solves a complex problem in the simplest and most human way possible."

CREDITS

VMLY&R 

Wayne Best – Chief Creative Officer 

Niraj Zaveri – Executive Creative Director 

Justin Ebert – Executive Creative Director 

Tal Shub – Creative Director 

Carlos Pabon – Creative Director 

Rachel Krouse – Executive Business Lead 

Allie Ritter – Group Director, Client Engagement 

Ally Reis – Account Supervisor 

Jenny Anderson – Senior Account Manager 

Saira Khan – Associate Account Manager 

Bobby Jacques – Group Executive Producer 

Dan Bradbury – Senior Producer 

Allison Raich – Senior Producer 

Louisa Gargiulo – Senior Producer 

Fernando Martinez – Director of Production, Experience Innovation 

Maggie Diaz – Senior Content Production Business Manager 

Theresa Notartomaso - Executive Music Producer

Karli James – Music Production Assistant

Jennifer Bonhomme - Managing Director of Strategy & Insights

Jorik Houweling - Strategy Director

Megan Mills - Group Director, Client Engagement

Ashley Pryor – Group Director, Client Engagement

Marissa Schulz - Director, Client Engagement  

Dell Technologies 

Liz Matthews – SVP of Global Brand

Rachael Henke - Senior Director, B2B Campaigns & Talent Attraction 

Valerie Daubert – Strategic Initiatives Lead and Project Manager

Peggi Kaley – Marketing Director, Global Customer Engagements  

Sonia Sharma – Marketing Campaign Manager 

Amanda Metti - Global Sponsorship Lead

Jackie Keating - Social Impact Marketing

Talia Hill – Corporate Communications 

Dayne Turbitt - Senior Vice President & GM, UK

Ilana Lassman – Head of Social Impact and Corporate Sponsorships, UK&I 

Intel Corporation 

John Coyne - VP/GM, Brand, Creative & Media

Kari Lemiere-Mullan – Director of Marketing Strategy, Brand Storytelling & Partnerships

Karen Frey – Marketing Specialist

Kelly Lynch – Brand Strategist, Partner Brand Campaigns & Corporate Sponsorships

Sarah Allen, UK Communications

Lama Nachman, Director of Human & AI Systems Research Lab

Darryl Adams - Director of Accessibility

Nicholas Day - Global Sales, Dell Account

Jason Priest, Global Sales & Marketing, Dell Consumer/Small Business

Motor Neuron Disease Association 

Nick Goldup – Director of Care Improvement 

Richard Cave – Project Manager SLT 

Rolls-Royce 

Stuart Moss – Head of IT Innovation 

Jill Twiss - Author

Nicholas Stevenson - Illustrator

Borderland: Production Company

Simon Frost – Director & Director of Photography 

Ben Hanson – Director & Director of Photography 

Zoe Barlow – Managing Director & Executive Producer 

Frances Ellis – Production Manager 

Lili Bo Therin – Production Assistant 

SpeakUnique 

Alice Smith – Chief Executive Officer 

Jeremy Jones – Digital Developer 

Oliver Watts – Chief Technology Officer & Speech Scientist 

Siddharthan Chandran – Advisor  

Jam3: Front-End Developers 

Florian Root – Associate Executive Producer 

Helen Tucker-Lalloo – Executive Producer 

Sean Crawford – Group Director of Production

Tim Blokker – Senior Design Strategist 

Dirk van Ginkel – Executive Creative Director 

Elisabetta Balconi – Creative Director & Experience Designer 

Victoire Douy – Senior Interactive Designer

Ben Wager – Technical Director 

Thomas Van der Meer – Lead Frontend Developer 

Human: Music

Audio Post by Post Human

James Dean Wells – Executive Producer

Sloan Alexander - Creative Lead & Chief Engineer

Rob Suchecki - Post Producer

Patient Film Composers:

Adam del Ruedas del Rio

Jonathan Russell

Partner Film Composers:

John Chris Barnes

Sloan Alexander

Jonathan Hubbell

Adam del Ruedas del Rio

Jonathan Russell

The Mill: Post Production 

James Tillett – Colorist 

Ashley Woods – Color Assist 

Evan Bauer – Sr. Color Producer

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