Forget naughty and nice, SickKids Foundation is celebrating the brave

Who: SickKids Foundation, with Cossette for creative, Citizen Relations for PR, and OMD for media.

What: “The Brave List,” a holiday campaign encouraging donations to the SickKids Foundation’s “Get Better Gifts” program, which provides resources and support for the approximately 250 young patients who must spend the night in hospital during the holidays.

When & Where: Running through Dec. 24, the multi-faceted campaign is led by a 60-second hero video, as well as 30- and 15-second cutdowns. The video elements are being supported by a print catalogue showing the various gifts available for purchase, as well as email marketing, paid and organic social, and targeted digital display.

The names of more than 400 SickKids patients are also featured on a “Brave List” that is being projected onto the chimney of The Boiler House during the annual Winter Village event at Toronto’s Distillery District through Dec. 31.

Why: The program is supporting SickKids Foundation’s “Get Better Gifts” program, which provides gifts for children who must spend the holidays in hospital. Gifts include arts and crafts supplies, games and financial support for programs such as its Child Life Channel and cancer research.

How: The campaign continues the long-running VS. platform—in this case it’s SickKids Vs. Missing Holidays. The creative plays with the concept of Santa’s naughty list and nice list to introduce another option more appropriate for SickKids: The brave list.

The 60-second spot opens with the look and feel of a magical Christmas fairytale, as a narrator recounts the tradition of the naughty and nice list. But then the viewer is taken inside the hospital and the narrator explains that there is a place for children “who aren’t just good or bad, but rather brave.”

A young patient literally sets fire to a “Naughty & Nice List” and the tone changes, with shots of children undergoing care at SickKids. There’s magic, but it is not a fairytale. “Theirs are the names etched on the brave list, a secret to most, a marvel to many,” says the narrator, as some of the young patients are drawn to a blue light created by The Brave List being projected onto surrounding buildings.

And we quote: “The holiday season lends itself to more magical and whimsical creative storytelling, and our hope with this campaign is to inspire and remind the community of the serious life experiences our patients and their families are going through—regardless of the season—in a brand story that is both bold and lighthearted.” — Vanessa Teall, director, product marketing, lottery and gaming, SickKids Foundation

Chris Powell