Ad of the Day | Down Spain and Contrapunto BBDO Create Friend:DS, a New AI-powered Contacts App

Ad of the Day | Down Spain and Contrapunto BBDO Create Friend:DS, a New AI-powered Contacts App

Mar. 23, 2021

Friend:DS is the first application with artificial intelligence that, thanks to its analysis of language and writing cadence, connects people with the same affinities. In a test, volunteers verified that the application was 99% effective.

The application, developed by Glassworks, arose from a premise: one of the most popular ways of meeting people today is through applications, where outside appearance seems to be more important than what’s inside a person. This is why Friend:DS is an application where you cannot see the person you are talking to at any time.

According to Eva Crespo, creative director of the project:

it’s an application, but it would almost be better to call it an experiment. The idea was to create an application capable of making us connect in a more human, more intimate way. To put aside labels and prejudices, and meet people who, for one reason or another, we would never have met."


The presentation piece is a video in which several participants can be seen exchanging instant messages with other people. After several hours of blind conversation and establishing an obvious connection, the volunteers end up meeting their interlocutors in person and discover that their matches are people with Down syndrome. People with whom they have 99% of things in common, except for one: the chromosome that separates them.

As it turns out, the application and its test with real people are actually part of the #QueNadaNosSepare (Let nothing come between us) campaign for DOWN ESPAÑA. A campaign created by Contrapunto BBDO to celebrate March 21, World Down Syndrome Day, and that aims to raise awareness about the barriers that we build every day as a society so as not to connect with those people who may have the most in common with us. As the piece says in closing: "If we have so many things in common, why do we let just one chromosome separate us?"

In the words of Mateo San Segundo, president of DOWN ESPAÑA:

People with Down syndrome want to be like everybody else in society. That also means socialising, having fun, making friends... Up to the ages of 12 or 13 everything goes well, they have friends at school, they get invited to parties... but there comes a time when a distance begins to appear, us parents begin to notice that our children don’t get calls like before, the excuses begin and you realise that they’re really suffering. This continues into adulthood. It seems that their only possibility is to socialise with other people with Down syndrome”. As Mr. San Segundo explains, "it’s a vicious circle from which it’s very difficult to get out, and that’s why this campaign is so necessary, because we as a society need to reflect on what’s happening, and make room for everyone."

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