Sunnybrook tells us to work together by staying apart

The campaign gets a national boost from Moneris to show Canadians that distancing is the best way to help the hospital's fight.


Sunnybrook Hospital, an institution on the frontlines when COVID-19 first broke out in Canada, is getting help from Moneris to emphasize to Canadians that staying home is the best way for them to do their part in the fight.

To amplify the message, Sunnybrook’s agency partner No Fixed Address brought in fellow client Moneris, with a $145,000 media donation enabling the Toronto-area hospital’s safety message to be broadcast nationally.

The ad shows isolated urban scenes and empty street, then goes inside the hospital showing the treatment and research work going on there every day, emphasizing that

Christina Topp, VP of community engagement for the Sunnybrook Foundation, tells strategy the message is an evolution of its “Impossible Needs You” rally cry, which urges donors to help the hospital fund things like medical research, and touted its staff’s grit and courage, using war photography.

However, there is no direct call to action for donations in this campaign, Topp says, as it was important for the Foundation talk directly to Canadians from the front lines, showing them the best contribution they can make to the hospital’s work right now is staying at home.

“We felt an overt ask for support would undermine the importance of that message,” she says. Topp says the upbeat tone and use of phrases like “winning” are meant to “inspire hope and optimism that we can – and will – come through this by all working together.” The choice to portray scenes devoid of people was intentional, and Topp says, because it wanted to wanted to turn negative visuals into something more optimistic.

For its part on the ground during the pandemic, Moneris has done things like help retailers set up ecommerce operations, or worked with payment partners like Visa and Mastercard to increase the limit on contactless payments to $250, reduce the amount of time vendors and customers need to handle payment terminals.