SickKids unveils biggest and boldest brand platform in hospital’s history

While many in the community are familiar with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), most are not fully aware of the scope of what the hospital does or the breadth of care, research and learning conducted right here in Toronto that has an impact on children’s health globally. From the discovery of the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis to the first successful cardiac surgery on a baby in utero to a new approach for detecting cancer early in patients at high risk for the disease that is now being used globally, SickKids has a long-standing history of providing extremely complex care and conducting innovative research projects for the most vulnerable members of our society.

Advancements in science and technology present an unprecedented opportunity for SickKids, world-leading institution, category leader, innovator and risk-taker, to take on the greatest challenges in child health – and to win.Yet as the needs of the hospital continue to grow each year, so, too, does the need to grow our philanthropic support from the community.

Launched today, the SickKids 2016 brand platform is a revolutionary shift in attitude and overall approach to awareness-building and fundraising, and the hospital’s biggest and boldest move yet. Titled “SickKids VS the greatest challenges in child health,” the platform illustrates how SickKids attracts 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 creative elements help illustrate many of the ways our patients, families and staff give it their best fight day in and day out.

SickKids VS: Undeniable

The campaign includes four separate commercials produced for TV, leading with Anthem and followed by Grace, Broken Hearts, and Missing Home. A campaign of this magnitude has never been attempted in the hospital before and an unprecedented number of patients, families and staff participated to bring the commercials to life. More than 100 SickKids staff members helped out during filming, either in front of the camera or behind the scenes, and approximately 50 SickKids patient families agreed to be filmed, with filming taking place in dozens of different locations, in the hospital and around the city. This is a testament to the incredibly committed and generous SickKids community.

With the new SickKids VS platform, we are illustrating the strength, the fierceness, the fight that’s very real at SickKids and shining a light on these aspects for those who’ve been lucky enough to have never had to step foot into the hospital.

"With SickKids VS, we hope to raise awareness of the many important battles SickKids is fighting."
“This new platform reflects the bold and ambitious work that is being done at SickKids to save and transform the lives of thousands of children every year,” says Lori Davison, vice president of Brand Strategy and Communications at SickKids Foundation. “With SickKids VS, we hope to raise awareness of the many important battles SickKids is fighting and remind people that in order to win, we need them to join the fight. We need their donations to stay ahead.”

Each commercial will air in a phased approach beginning October 15 to the end of December. Spots will also be available for viewing and sharing on the campaign website and SickKids Foundation’s YouTube and social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

“The time is now for this bold shift from charity brand to performance brand,” says Jay Chaney, chief strategy officer at Cossette. “This campaign dials up the volume on elements of the hospital that have always been true for SickKids medical staff, patients and families, but that perhaps weren’t highlighted as clearly before. Canadians need to see the remarkable work that happens every day at SickKids, and the potential of what we can accomplish if they join the fight.”

The fully integrated advertising campaign is supported with a media buy for all channels including print, TV, digital, out-of-home – including TTC branded streetcars – and cinema. It will also have a prominent presence on the SickKids Foundation website and social media channels like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Credit for the concept goes to our agency of record, Cossette. The TV spots were directed by Mark Zibert of Skin and Bones. Media planning and buying was managed by OMD.

People who wish to support SickKids can make a donation by visiting the campaign website: The website was made possible with support from Deloitte Digital.