Sarah and Paige have been best friends since they were 8 years old.
Like all other BFFs, these two girls love sharing their stories, secrets and imaginations with each other. Both of them bonded over the fact that each has had to grow up without an arm. They know each other like no one else can. They not only listen to each other, they also understand.
The only catch in their story is that they live on the opposite sides of the world – Sarah lives in Nappanee, Indiana, and Paige lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
They communicated with each other via Microsoft’s video messaging service Skype and had never met each other in person for all these years.
The tale of their unique friendship was submitted to Skype’s “Stay Together” campaign where people share their stories of how they stay connected with the help of the voice-over-IP software.
Last year, San Francisco-based global advertising agency Pereira & O’Dell chose Sarah and Paige’s story to create a documentary-style spot for Skype.
They planned a surprise reunion for the two unsuspecting friends.
Though the idea may seem manipulative to many – as AdWeek’s Tim Nudd pointed out in his critique – it is impossible not to feel the intensity of emotions the ad triggers when Sarah finally shares a tearful hug with Paige outside her home in Auckland.
"The moment that they meet, that wasn’t planned,” said PJ Pereira, the creator of the commercial, in an interview with AdWeek.
"We didn’t know what was going to happen. The moment that one gets out of the van and they see each other, after talking for years and years and years, then they run up and hug each other. We were like: ‘Whoah, this is real. You can’t make this up.’"
The spot, “The Born Friend’s Family Portrait,” was also one of the most honored and potential award-winning ads at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival.
Watch Sarah and Paige’s heart-warming reunion in the video below.