Ronald McDonald House links family support with healing

A campaign showing families' roles in a child's treatment is part of the organization's effort to overcome a 2020 fundraising downturn.
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To commemorate 40 years in Canada, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) wants to deepen the public’s appreciation of the role family plays in the work it does.

“Family in Medicine,” created by its AOR Cossette, is a two-minute film that brings to life a fictional family’s journey coping with their sick son.

“Our overall strategy is to raise awareness among Canadians and elevate their understanding of how RMHC supports families with sick children,” says Roxanna Kassam-Kara, national director marketing & communications at RMHC.

“We wanted to illustrate how families are an integral part of their child’s treatment journey, and give Canadians an inside look at how Ronald McDonald Houses support this,” she says.

According to Kassam-Kara, the family’s positive effect on a sick child’s health is a fundamental truth that RMHC has observed for quite some time and something that has being increasingly recognized in the medical community.

“RMHC is more than just a place for families to stay close to the hospital, it’s a place for families to stay together,” Kassam-Kara adds. To that end, the organization set out to capture the emotional journey of a family – the good and the bad – and show how family connection is also a form of medicine. And that story, she says, required a video long enough to showcase all the charity’s offerings and to create an emotive connection to its mission.

The campaign aims to boost fundraising efforts during an important milestone for the organization. Ronald McDonald Houses across the country were deemed an essential service by provincial governments, but with in-person events being cancelled and physical distancing rules in effect, many community fundraising opportunities that the organization relies on were cancelled, according to Kassam-Kara. As a result, RMHC experienced fundraising declines of up to 60% in 2020.

“Family in Medicine” is running nationally with a 360 media mix (including traditional media, owned channels and PR) until the end of April and comes to life in many executions including long format, TV, radio, OOH, PR, and social.

Media was handled through OMD and PR by Weber Shandwick.