2020 Brand Experience & Activation


Category D02. Use of Mobile & Devices
Entrant YANDEX Moscow, RUSSIA
Idea Creation YANDEX Moscow, RUSSIA
Media Placement YANDEX Moscow, RUSSIA
Production YANDEX Moscow, RUSSIA
Post Production YANDEX Moscow, RUSSIA
Name Company Position
Alexandra Novokhatskaya Yandex Creative Director
Inna Omelchenko Yandex Senior Producer
Konstantin Pudan Yandex Copywriter
Valentina Ekimian Yandex Copywriter
Alexey Kalyan Yandex Copywriter
Vasilii Ovchinnikov Yandex Senior Art Director
Nikolay Nikitin Yandex Art Director
Olga Zarenok Yandex Producer
Ekaterina Kovaleva Yandex Producer
Petr Abroskin Yandex Director of Marketing Operations
Galina Tomashevskaya Yandex Product Marketing Manager
Matvey Kireev Yandex Machine Intelligence and Research Department PR
Bogdan Petrenko Yandex PR Manager
Maria Makeeva Yandex Manager
Elizaveta Strelkova Yandex Editor
Margarita Artemenko Yandex Editor
Natalia Tkachuk Yandex Editor
Alya Ageeva Yandex Editor
Mikhail Borisenok Yandex Editor
Vladimir Lopatka Yandex Senior Editor
Alexey Kadaner Yandex Head Of Editing Department
Kirill Egerev Yandex Editor
Elena Plotnikova Yandex Producer
Denis Borisov Yandex Illustrator
Alexander Tchernyavskiy Tushite Svet Production Production
Eugenia Fadeeva Epic Production (Hype Network) Sound Studio
Anton Popov Epic Production (Hype Network) Sound Studio

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

Alice is the most popular voice assistant in Russia designed by Yandex. And kids love talking to her. A lot. That’s why we wanted to help them spend more quality time together. We found out that the most common problem kids face is the speech disorder. So we decided to help them and to raise awareness about access to speech therapy and its importance in general. Now kids can talk to Alice and train their speech at the same time thanks to a speech-training tool available for free on any smartphone.


Up to 70% of Russian preschoolers suffer from Speech Sound Disorder. If untreated, this may cause dyslexia and other disorders. What’s worse, there aren’t enough speech therapists, especially in country regions: statistics say there's 1 doctor per 420 children. Private specialists are not available for everyone because they’re pricey. Our mission was to make speech training free and accessible all over Russia. Also, to make the process easy and relevant for kids.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

So how do we help children develop their speech and make the training accessible to everyone? By adding a training tool into a voice assistant which is being used by 80% of Russians. To actually help the kids, we made this tool in collaboration with speech therapists, children’s poets, and some of the most popular singer-songwriters. Besides, we turned the training process into a song-based game: in order to work on a problematic sound, the kid had to sing a special song.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Our plan was to make the tool engaging, effective, and accessible. 1) We based our content on the fact that kids mostly develop their sound and speech abilities at the age from 5 to 7. 2) We invited speech specialists who came up with rules for every song and warm-up session. 3) Next, we created the content together with famous singers-songwriters who helped us develop training melodies and songs. The speech specialists checked every song and guided the singers during the recording sessions. 4) To make “Sounds Easy’ enjoyable for kids we involved the Fixies, Russia's most popular cartoon characters, and based some songs on their recognizable melodies. 5) This collaboration made us visible for influencers and media, and even the Ministry of Education of Russia. 6) The app is available on any smartphone, which makes the speech training free and accessible to 80 mln Alice users.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

The tool is a game-based song training inside our voice assistant Alice. The first step is to choose one of the characters to practice particular sounds. It can be a Fixie, a famous cartoon character, or a Soundie, a specially created character voiced by pop-singers. The second step is a warm-up: repeat sounds after the characters. And the third step is to practice by singing a song. The characters also represent skills that kids acquire if they overcome their speech difficulties. For example, a character called Bravobis looks like a disco dancer – and his song is about overcoming a stage fright. Technically, the AI-powered speech recognition technology guides the child toward correct articulation by asking him to repeat the exercise in case of deviations. Together with a big team of enthusiasts, Yandex created songs according to the complex speech therapy principles and found a way to make the training

List the results (30% of vote)

– Sounds Easy became one of the two most popular skills in Alice's children's category. – The tool was also acknowledged by the Ministry of Education. – Sounds Easy was included into the school curriculum during the quarantine-2020. – Due to the tool's social significance, experts and artists contributed to the project for free. – Most importantly, speech training became available for all children for free.