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The Perspective
The Perspective

October 17, 2016

SickKids VS. The Greatest Challenges in Child Health

Lori Davison is Vice President, Brand Strategy and Communications at SickKids Foundation

We have embarked on our biggest and boldest campaign yet.

Advancements in science and technology present an unprecedented opportunity for SickKids to take on the greatest challenges in child health – and to win. For this reason, we asked our advertising agency, Cossette, to dream big and help us show how extraordinary our hospital is.

The new campaign platform is: SickKids VS the greatest challenges in child health.

It represents a bold shift in tone of voice, highlighting the ‘fierce’ side of our patients, families and staff, and the ‘fight’ that occurs at the hospital each day.

The VS. platform celebrates SickKids as a performance brand. It illustrates how we attract only the world’s best medical minds and harnesses this power into the research that cures some of the world’s most complex and rare illnesses. The various campaign elements highlight many of the ways our patients, families and staff give it their best fight every day.

Photo of Lori Davison

A campaign of this magnitude has never been attempted in the hospital before. More than 100 staff members helped out either in front of the camera or behind the scenes. Volunteering to be on camera goes above and beyond the call of duty and enabled this very complex commercial to be shot authentically. Approximately 50 patient families also agreed to be filmed. The fact that the commercials are filled with real staff, real parents and real patients adds a special component to the final product.

What’s more, all of our agency partners involved in this campaign generously did so at deeply discounted rates, even pro bono in some cases, enabling us to produce the campaign with the same modest budget as in previous years and at a fraction of what it would cost in the private sector.

This is a testament to the incredibly committed and generous SickKids community.

Many people do not realize that we rely on private donations in order to help the hospital provide extremely complex care for the most vulnerable members of our society and to conduct innovative research projects that advance children’s health care.

That’s why advertising campaigns play an important role in our fundraising efforts to ensure that SickKids can continue to bring hope and healing to children in Ontario and around the world.

In order to broaden our appeal to new audiences and grow our philanthropic support from the community, we needed a different voice and a new message. Our hope is that people will see not only the incredible work that SickKids does now, but the potential of what we can still do – jolting those sitting on the sidelines into joining us in our fight and helping us reach our ambitious fundraising goals.

Today until the end of December, our fully integrated advertising campaign will be in print, TV, digital, out-of-home and cinema. We also have a prominent presence on the Foundation website and social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.