2017 Winners

SickKids VS

SickKids Foundation

Gold Agency of the Year: Cossette

The Challenge

SickKids was setting records for donations; however, the money was coming from the same donor set, which was older and skewed heavily female. Cossette was asked to attract net-new donors, while maintaining a base with a platform that would provide SickKids with years of opportunity.

The Insight

Consumers were becoming trained to expect a specific tone and message from “cause” marketing. That training was leading them to ignore the multitude of pleas coming from every direction. In order for people to donate, they needed to know that they were supporting a winning organization, and that they could help achieve tangible results, even in the smallest amounts. People are far more likely to donate if they feel that an organization is on the cusp of something significant.

The Plan

The team focused on shifting SickKids from a “cause” brand to a “performance” brand in the same vein as Nike and Under Armour. The brief became SickKids is taking on the greatest challenges in child health. We are winning, but we won’t stop until every kid is a healthy kid. The platform became SickKids VS The Greatest Challenges in Child Health.

The brand launched with a two-minute film online and on TV during the Toronto Maple Leafs home opener. The team changed all of the signage at the hospital, created out-of-home billboards and dominated Dundas Square and TTC streetcars. They also launched a robust digital campaign to facilitate donor conversion.

The website changed and donors, when they donated, could identify the cause they were fighting. The team made personalized t-shirts and a giant neon “VS” sign was placed in the hospital for kids and their families to pose in front of for photos before a procedure or prior to a meeting with a doctor.

A series of online films was launched, exploring the complexity of the hospital by telling the story of Grace, a child who lost her battle with cancer, but inspired an entire research team to fight for a cure with “SickKids VS. Cancer.” It then featured Hartley, who, after a dozen surgeries, told the explained the need for more operating rooms with “SickKids VS. 100 Today.” Finally, it told the story of the hospital rallying to ensure Santa Claus could find the children at the hospital, a major source of anxiety for kids who are at SickKids for the holidays with “SickKids Vs. Missing Home.”

The Results

-All-time record-breaking fundraising revenue of $57.9 million in the first three months; $140 million by fiscal year end.
-With the launch of the campaign, online transactions increased by 295%, online revenue rose by 695% and the average online donation hit an all-time high of $188.
-VS Anthem received more than four million views
-Earned media results to date: 234 stories and 43 million impressions.
-Media coverage in more than 15 countries
-Average donation jumped from $20 to $90
-YOY increase of 8% in male donors
-Increase of 8% of donors aged 25–35