Guest Article By: Jocelyn Tran
Last year, SickKids tugged at millions of heartstrings with their emotional campaign:” Better Tomorrows”, a documentary-style videos of patients spending their days in the hospital for 45 days. The highly unprecedented campaign has raised 38-million of donations last year December. Though that number is a remarkable outcome for SickKids, they mostly came from their existing donors.
This year, SickKids targeted at the untapped audiences, which are younger people since their base donors are aging. Through previous researches and reactions, SickKids learned that younger demographics have now grown more interest and knowledge in donating to meaningful causes, and this “VS” campaign will be the first one that is aimed toward a much younger audience.
In order to attract this new audiences, the tone of this year campaign has been changed greatly. It has become the biggest, boldest and toughest campaign SickKids has ever run. With a solid $2- million marketing investment, we are expecting to see the next 3 TV spots, more streetcar wraps and cinema posters rolling out at the end of this year.
With a short but iconic title:”VS”, the video features the strong rap from the song Undeniable by Donnie Daydream visualizing hospital patients, kicking, punching, running and battling adversaries such as cancer, heart diseases, liver failure and cystic fibrosis. What differentiates this campaign from their previous campaign is not only the tone, but also the innovative idea: the inclusion of 50 SickKids patients, their families, 100 doctors, nurses and hospital staffs. Everyone has done their best to turn sickness and hospitalized kids into the real warriors who never give up. The fierce images, graphics and motions describing the diagnoses and dramatic footage of the life-or-death moments triggers the feelings from the viewers from the first few moments watching the video. The perfect choice of background music is a vital part that brings all the other elements together as a strong and united whole.
— PATTISON Outdoor (@pattisonoutdoor) November 1, 2016
“The evolution is to a lot of empowerment. This notion that we are winning, but we won’t stop fighting until every kid is a healthy kid,” said Lori Davison, vice-president of brand strategy and communications.
In their VS campaign this year, SickKids has done right again by utilizing their social media platforms to deliver the most to its audience. To generate buzz around “VS”, SickKids posted a series of their patients posing as a warrior, a battler, a winner, and more on Instagram, with the caption describing their tough fighting journey, all topped with a call-to-action. As a person who has never been hospitalized before, this campaign really brought me closer into the everyday battle of the kids and their families and doctors. Moreover, the power of behind the scene photos has been revealed on SickKids’s Instagram latest post (featured below) to help their audience understand thoroughly how hard it is and how fierce these kids had been in the fight. With their huge budget that aligns within their annual spending budget, SickKids has impressed Torontonians with the billboards dominance for the past two months of October and November.
#SickKidsVS Undeniable – Behind the scenes We are incredibly thankful for the support our amazing staff and patient families have given to #SickKidsVS. Did you know more than 100 SickKids staff members helped out either in front of the camera or behind the scenes? And approximately 50 patient families agreed to be filmed. Being able to have #SickKidsVS: Undeniable filled with real staff, real parents and real patients not only allowed this very complex commercial to be shot authentically; it also added a very special component to the entire campaign. Volunteering to be on camera and working behind the scenes to make #SickKidsVS come to life goes above and beyond the call of duty, and for that we say THANK YOU. #SKBehindtheScenes #SKPeeps
Jocelyn Tran is a second- year student from Advertising and Marketing Communications program at Humber. After the journey of learning and practicing, Jocelyn is looking forward to becoming a Copywriter who writes witty, creative and valuable product copies. She’s also keen on doing food blogging and a foodie who are not afraid of trying new dishes. Meet her on her Facebook, Instagram, or check out her blog.