Sick­Kids: togeth­er we will’ campaign

Exhibited by
David Morelli, director, marketing, SickKids Foundation.
January 14, 2014
Medium of Communication
Broadcast and television, cinema, online, posters, press advertising, press publicity
Target Audience
Awareness, regular gift
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
November, 2013

SOFII’s view

If you’ve got a winner stick with it. Update it, refine and improve it, keep up the innovation, tell a good story and, like SickKids Foundation you will achieve even greater success.

Creator / originator

SickKids Foundation; JWT, creative agency; Mindshare, media agency.

Summary / objectives

  • To keep SickKids at the top of people’s minds during the holiday season in the Greater Toronto area (November and December).
  • To gain maximum advantage from the the emotional connection to the cause established in the 2012 awareness campaign
  • To broadcast the 2012 ‘you got it’ television commercial but add a new component for involvement.
  • To develop the campaign to deliver an appropriate tone for the ‘ask’ for support


We launched our 2013 brand campaign on November 12, to maximise the success of our 2012 ‘together we will’ campaign. That year’s campaign included a television spot called ‘you got it’, which featured patients, parents and staff singing along to the iconic Roy Orbison song. One memorable moment from that commercial was then-four-year-old Antonio, who was in treatment for leukemia, singing the final lines of the song. The ‘you got it’ spot was developed to inspire and emphasise a positive message of hope.

In 2013, the Foundation was really drawn to the concept of ‘one year later’. We wanted to revisit some of the patient’s stories we told in 2012 and provide an update on their conditions. We also wanted to include a fun ‘surprise and delight’ element to this year’s campaign. So, one year after being featured in our ‘you got it’ spot, Antonio was invited to a special movie screening. What he didn't know was that the first trailer featured him. We had hidden cameras in the cinema and developed this ‘stunt’ into a video, uploaded it to YouTube and shared it broadly through social media and our other networks.

The agency, together with the Foundation, framed the campaign around the question, ‘what makes a real-life superhero?’ The campaign redefined heroism from that of a superhero with a cape, X-ray vision, or the power to fly to highlight the powers of real-life heroes, like Antonio. For example: Antonio has the power to refer to his chemotherapy as crime-fighting juice. Hunter has the power to transcend all the pain and isolation to kick cancer in the butt. Nurse Sandra has the power to distract a child while they receive a prick from a needle. And Grace has the power to keep going, to get up after each painful fall while battling her brittle bone disease.

Special characteristics

  • The ‘surprise and delight’ video on YouTube, which featured a recognisable patient from the well-known ‘you got it’ commercial
  • Television, online and print media purchase
  • The website, serving as the central hub for all campaign activity (
  • Landing page for all media
  • Innovative scrolling on the website
  • The ‘surprise and delight’ video
  • Updated stories of patients from the 2012 campaign and ‘you got it’ television spot
  • Social media integration (who’s your #SickKidsHero?) and social media content on the Foundation’s channels

Influence / impact

In a two-month period, the campaign:

  • Achieved 172 per cent of our goal of number of visits to the/together website
  • The 'surprise and delight YouTube video was viewed 299,024 times, achieving 150 per cent of our goal
  • Surpassed last year’s donations collected through the website by 19.9 per cent.


In addition to exceeding all of the campaign goals, the 2013 ‘together we will’ campaign illustrates the power of good storytelling. The campaign showcases the stories of SickKids patients, their families and health-care teams, defining them as real-life heroes. The message is one of hope and inspiration, while highlighting the continued need for support for SickKids.

In a competitive charitable landscape, the ability to appeal to repeat donors while also acquiring new ones is critical to the success of SickKids. Sharing courageous stories of our SickKids heroes, whose stories result in both positive and less desirable outcomes, helps to demonstrate the need for continued support. It also helps to keep SickKids at the top of potential donors’ minds over the busy holiday period.

The ‘surprise and delight’ stunt video, in which a patient featured in last year’s campaign was surprised in a cinema with a trailer featuring him, was a new approach for the Foundation. SickKids has rarely invested in a brand campaign video that is solely featured on YouTube. We saw the potential to create a video that audiences would want to not only view, but also share, thus making the investment worthwhile.

One year after being featured in the ‘you got it’ video (featured below), five-year-old Antonio was invited to a special movie screening. What he didn’t know was that the first trailer featured him.

Other relevant information

2012 “You Got It” commercial:

2013 ‘surprise and delight’ Antonio video:


Follow-up on the project

Addition in February 2014:

We tested a new fundraising tactic for the brand campaign by layering in a cause-marketing strategy. Together with our colleagues in corporate partnerships, we designed promotional materials in line with the brand campaign to engage businesses, customers and employees to give to to SickKids through a percentage of every purchase, point-of-sale donations and employee giving. We sought to increase public awareness of SickKids while the campaign was active and set a conservative prospect and fundraising goal. We secured 16 new and existing partners for the programme and exceeded our fundraising goal by 58 per cent in the month of December.

One year after being featured in the ‘you got it’ video (featured below), five-year-old Antonio was invited to a special movie screening. What he didn’t know was that the first trailer featured him. Click on the image to play the video (in YouTube) or scroll down to watch it here.
Click to play the video (in YouTube) or scroll down to watch it here.
One of the print ads. Click on the image to view as PDF.