Shopper Innovation Awards: SickKids reveals real superheroes

The Toronto hospital surprised a special patient during a movie screening to help drive donations for its foundation.
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This story appears in the May 2015 issue of strategy.

Bronze: CSR

Research showed that people were aware of SickKids and other charities, but they wanted to know that their money was actually making a difference to the cause. To do this, SickKids and its agency JWT showed how people’s donations have helped a child patient fight back against cancer.

The agency created a superhero-themed movie trailer with a surprise message for five-year-old Antonio, a patient who is recovering from leukemia. The trailer played in a theatre while he and his family were in the audience. Using hidden GoPro cameras and a live feed, Antonio’s surprise reaction was captured and shown on the big screen.

SickKids went further and invited people to participate by asking them to share the real-life super powers that sick children in their lives have via the organization’s website and then make a donation.

The brand and agency collaborated with Mindshare to get the word out and engage the audience through online ads, YouTube and the SickKids campaign website. The campaign helped raised $31 million for SickKids during the 2013 holiday fundraising season (the most successful holiday season on record for the foundation), exceeding the 2012 amount of $26.5 million.

The video received more than 360,000 YouTube views, exceeding the original goal of 54,000 views (and the stretch goal of 100,000). Media coverage included Breakfast Television, Kevin Newman Live, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Global Television and more.


Advertiser: SickKids
Agency: JWT
Chief creative and integration officer: Brent Choi
SVP/ECD: Ryan Spelliscy
AD: Christian Martinez
CW: Tyler Schell
ACDs: Jed Churcher, Andy Brokenshire
Agency producer: Raquel Rose
Music & sound: Adam Damelin (Eggplant)
Editor: Marco Pazzano (Panic & Bob)
Director: Jake Kovnat (Sons & Daughters)
Account director: Michelle Ching
Account executive: Sarah Leville
Visual effects: Axyz
Media agency: Mindshare