Children’s Med­ical Research Insti­tute: the video that broke the Internet’s heart

Exhibited by
Ben Coverdale
May 28, 2015
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Research into childhood diseases.
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
2 May 2015

SOFII’s view

An emotional video that tells a story, without words just a song, of what is every parent’s nightmare. It has certainly created a lot of interest, emotion and sharing of stories, which must be of great help to families everywhere. SOFII is interested to hear how it has helped CMRI’s fundraising too.

Summary / objectives

To achieve three main objectives:

  1. Increase awareness of the impact that childhood diseases have in Australia.
  2. Linking Children’s Medical Research Institute to their event ‘Jeans for Genes’ day, which until now has over shadowed the parent brand.
  3. Raising awareness of the Children’s Medical Research Institute brand itself.


Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) was faced with a number of problems, which they partnered with the agency March One to solve.

The main challenge was the struggling CMRI brand. Its low brand recognition within the market meant that its fundraising event, Jeans for Genes day, overshadowed it.

Many people that take part in Jeans for Genes day are unaware of why they do it or who they are doing it for, which reduces results and involvement.

The second challenge was connecting to the emotions of the target market. As a science-based brand, CMRI had trouble connecting to the emotion that surrounds the cause. This translated to lower engagement on social networks and lower potential donations.

In response to these issues March One presented a strategy to reach the emotions of potential donors. We recommended creating a video (the most emotionally charged medium) for a highly invested online audience: women with interests in family, motherhood, pregnancy and childhood. We created a ‘seeding’ strategy for viral marketing and online ads to reach them in the right places…

In the first 24 hours after launch the video had one million views, by the end of the first week it was at two million. After two weeks, over 4.5 million people had watched the film.

It has reached more than 15 million people and in the process started tens of thousands of conversations between people who have been touched by childhood diseases.

Creator / originator

March One Fundraising and CMRI

Client: Lorel Colgin

Brand Manager: Jacqui Gibbs

Script by Creative Team: Ben Coverdale and Samantha Buckley

Music and Lyrics: Ben Coverdale and Mark Brandis

Performed by: Lauren Buckley

Director: Dean Friske

DOP: Geoff Blee

Mother (Lucy): Nikki Waterhouse

Husband (Brett): Keith Austring

Mid Wife: Marianne Howard


The completion rate of the video – how long it kept viewers’ attention – was 86 per cent compared to the average on that media of 15 to 22 per cent.

The click through rate was 30 times the average interaction and five times more compared to any video previously posted on the page.

So far, it has been viewed over 4.6 million times with a reach of approximately 15 million. It has been shared over 50,000 times with thousands of parents sharing their stories of their children’s illnesses.


This viral video is a great example of what happens when an agency and client work together i.e. CMRI has a clear and defined marketing plan that March One worked with. March One had a clear and defined creative solution that CMRI believed in.

Other relevant information

The singer of the song is a former Australian Idol singer

The video broke all records for the blog Essential Baby