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New Campaign from SickKids Shines a Light on the Darkness of Childhood Illness


'Be A Light' from Cossette reveals the next chapter in the SickKids VS brand platform

New Campaign from SickKids Shines a Light on the Darkness of Childhood Illness

The SickKids Foundation has launched the ‘Be a Light’ campaign, the next chapter in the SickKids VS brand platform created to bring the community closer to patients and staff and highlight the ongoing need to build a new hospital.

“Our SickKids families have often described the experience of getting a diagnosis as a dark cloud that descends over their lives. And now, in the aftermath of the pandemic, that is something that everyone understands. We all also understand that hospitals and our community are our ray of light and hope, just as SickKids has always been for our families,” says Kate Torrance, Vice President, Brand Strategy & Communications at SickKids Foundation. “With this new film and campaign, we’re dramatizing that experience, and calling on all Ontarians to be a source of light, help us build a new hospital and create a brighter future for our kids.”

Created in partnership with Cossette, the campaign concept stemmed from a recurring metaphor often shared by patient families: receiving a diagnosis can often feel like a dark cloud is descending on your whole world, but, as seen in the spot, the SickKids community (i.e.  hospital staff, researchers, patients, and donors) is the brilliant and hopeful ray of light that beats it back. Most importantly, the ‘Be a Light’ campaign calls on everyone to become a source of light to build a brighter future by helping to build the new hospital that SickKids needs by becoming a monthly donor.

“We’ve never actually illustrated what childhood illness looks like before so when we asked patient families to describe it, the fact that they all had similar responses shows just how traumatic and all consuming it can be,” says Craig McIntosh, executive creative director at Cossette. “The VS platform isn’t just about highlighting the strength and resilience of sick kids, it’s also about understanding the deep impact of childhood illness and that all of us need to show up to fight for these kids.” 

The campaign’s use of the dark imagery is intended to illustrate the dark cloud of childhood illness. Though metaphorical, the goal is to illustrate that SickKids patients and hospital staff are fighting some of the greatest challenges in child health. The film is meant to be imaginative, and by juxtaposing the dark with light, the SickKids team shows that their goal of building a new hospital and ending childhood illness is possible when the community rallies together to support them through monthly donations.

The campaign’s social and digital executions zero in on the hospital’s need for support by leveraging the heartfelt and harrowing stories of current patients to encourage Canadians to become recurring monthly donors. 

“To help us deliver against our ambitious goal of acquiring 10,000 new monthly donors by December, we’ve built a fully integrated and robust donor acquisition funnel for this campaign,” says Heather Clark, senior vice president of mass, direct and digital marketing at SickKids Foundation. “Every one of our channels has a specific job to do. Whether it’s engagement and visibility of our mission, or disruption via powerful and emotive creative, we’re stewarding prospective monthly donors down a specific path that gives them more reasons to believe in our cause and join our community of support.”

The fully-integrated campaign runs until December and includes OOH, OLV, digital, and paid and organic social. Citizen Relations led the PR and media planning/buying was led by OMD.


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Genres: Storytelling, People, Music & Sound Design

Categories: Healthcare and Wellness, Hospitals

Cossette, Mon, 18 Oct 2021 07:00:00 GMT