Cossette wins a big prize at IPA Effectiveness Awards

The agency's work for SickKids over the years won it top honours in the non-profit category.
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Cossette and SickKids are standing tall among a small group of global winners at this year’s IPA Effectiveness Awards.

At a gala in London on Monday, the agency was awarded a special jury prize for Best Demonstration of Purpose (Not-For-Profit) for its work on the SickKids “VS.” platform since 2016.

In order to stand out from other fundraising organizations, as well as fight declines in donations across the charitable sector, Cossette took a cue from performance brands to develop a platform that shifted the tone from sadness to one that focused on the resilience of doctors, nurses, patients and families at the hospital.

In the years since it was first launched, “VS.” has helped SickKids regularly beat its fundraising goals and deliver a 256% return on marketing investment, according to the results Cossette submitted to IPA. Unaided awareness has also gone up 15% – with particular growth among demos with the lowest awareness, helping to diversify its donor base – as well as a 11% increase in volunteers.

The campaign was also the only Gold winner in the non-profit category at the awards, which are given out every two years to work that demonstrates measurable value. Notoriously rigorous, only 60 campaigns met IPA’s entry criteria, with only eight Golds awarded across categories.

The Grand Prix went to VCCP for its work on the Cadbury brand, which made generosity a key part of the brand’s purpose and helped turn around business after years of decline. It also won the special jury prize for Best Demonstration of Purpose in the for-profit category.

Last week, SickKids and Cossette released “House of Legends,” which is meant to be the final fundraising push to build a new hospital, as well as serve as a “bookend” to the “VS.” campaign.