Sunnybrook’s important message ‘For Everyone With a Brain’

Who: The Sunnybrook Foundation, with No Fixed Address for strategy and creative, Data Sciences for paid digital media.

What: “For Everyone With a Brain,” a new campaign urging people to donate to the Garry Hurvitz Brain Science Centre, which specializes in brain and mental health disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, stroke, ALS, and mood and anxiety disorders.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running across social media, out-of-home and print.

Why: The campaign marks the final push of a multi-year fundraising effort for the new Centre, a three-storey, 120,000 square-foot facility that is expected to be completed by 2023.

According to Brain Canada, one-third of Canadians will experience a brain disorder in their lifetime, while one in five will experience a mental illness or addiction concern.

Hurvitz, a Toronto entrepreneur who has spoken openly about his struggles with anxiety and depression, provided a lead gift of $20 million in 2014, while donors have contributed $70 million, and the Government of Ontario provided a matching donation of $60 million in 2019. (Hurvitz also donated $50 million to SickKids Foundation last year for the creation of the Garry Hurvitz Centre for Brain & Mental Health, and The Garry Hurvitz Centre for Community Mental Health.)

How: According to NFA, the campaign is intended to provoke an emotional reaction to the various brain/mental health disorders that will be treated at the new centre. A 30-second video ad shows people coping with various brain disorders, from a young man coping with depression, to a woman suffering a stroke, and another experiencing the early signs of dementia.

“The motivation for this campaign was to demonstrate the sheer scale of Sunnybrook’s ambition with this new Centre,” said Trent Thompson, NFA’s vice-president, creative director. “We wanted to hone in on the all-encompassing accessibility of this campaign by the sheer volume of people the Centre will help.”

And we quote: “Brain health—mental health—has always been important to me,” says Hurvitz. “As we have begun to uncover more about the inner workings of the brain, it is critical that we continue to advance the world’s understanding and treatment of the brain. The new Centre will be at the forefront of this important work by uniting research with care, and will achieve impact beyond Sunnybrook’s walls.”

Chris Powell