Experiencing Giving through Virtual Reality

May 06, 2016
By Blake Mycoskie


This month marks a big milestone for the TOMS team ─ we’re celebrating our 10-year anniversary. We started as a company of 6, doing business out of my apartment. Now, we’re a global company with global needs. We’re also making a difference around the globe by giving shoes, restoring sight, providing safe water, helping mothers to have a safe delivery and supporting bullying prevention and response programs in 70 countries with our One for One model. AT&T has been with us since the start of it all, helping to connect and grow TOMS.

We kicked off our joint celebration of 10 years together on the red carpet this year. We created a new commercial filmed during a giving trip in Colombia. Now, we’re sharing a new way for people to experience the power of giving. We worked together to create “A Walk in Their Shoes,” a virtual reality (VR) experience. You can follow Tom Ryen, one of our customers, as he travels to Colombia to meet a child who benefits from his purchase. Ryen’s experience begins in Venice, California, and ends in a schoolyard in Barranquilla, Colombia. He told me how this experience has changed his outlook on the world and his own life.

TOMS began when I was traveling in Argentina and saw both the great need and how a simple thing like a pair of shoes can help a child, a family and a community. To understand what someone goes through, it helps to walk in their shoes. If you can’t be there in person, VR is the perfect technology to share someone’s story. It’s an immersive technology, and with the powerful AT&T network, it’s something you can experience from virtually anywhere.

To showcase “A Walk in Their Shoes,” AT&T is creating a physical footprint—in a giant TOMS shoebox—starting this spring in Santa Monica, California, on May 6 and 7. Fans can stop by the Santa Monica Pier to experience the AT&T and TOMS celebration.

If you can’t attend in person, “A Walk in Their Shoes” is available in the Oculus Video app on Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus; the App Store; at TOMS Community Outposts; and in 360° on AT&T’s YouTube Channel. This month, we’re distributing VR viewers with select purchases of 100,000 pairs of TOMS shoes at TOMS.com and TOMS Community Outposts while supplies last. 

TOMS is all about improving lives through business. And AT&T is all about connecting people with their passions. We make a great team and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together for humankind in the next decade.

To learn more about AT&T and TOMS, visit att.com/TOMS.


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