Royal Victoria Regional Health begins a ‘wild’ fundraising campaign

Who: The Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre Foundation (RVH), with The Garden for strategy, creative and production; Outsider and SNDWRx for post-production and M&K Media for media.

What: “Keep Life Wild,” a healthcare fundraiser that mostly skips typical scenes of people in need of healthcare to show them living their lives to the fullest, thanks to the healthcare they’re receiving from Royal Victoria.

When & Where: The campaign launched Oct. 31, and is running until the end of the year on broadcast and online video, supported by out-of-home and direct mail.

Why: The Royal Victoria is in Barrie, but provides care to much of the Simcoe-Muskoka region. Many residents have a strong connection to the outdoors and enjoy what The Garden calls, a “free-spirited lifestyle” (ie: mountain biking, tractor pulls, polar bear dips, those sort of things).

“Not only do we have a close relationship to and love of the outdoors, we have an untameable spirit—enthusiastically embracing all life has to offer,” said Adrienne Clarke, VP marketing and donor experience at RVH Foundation, in a release.

The agency leaned into that distinctive community characteristic for this first creative in a new campaign to raise $100 million.

How: Rather than show people in need of, or receiving medical attention, The Garden mostly focused on how those with that “untameable spirit” can live life to the fullest because of that medical attention.

The 45-anchor spot opens with up-tempo music and a quick-cut montage of people doing a range of adrenaline pumping activities. Except for a few suggestive references to healthcare—a closeup of a scar and a man staring at his bald head, suggesting recent chemotherapy—most of the spot could be for a beer brand.

That is until the 30-second mark, when a woman who had been on an off-trail bike ride is left gasping for air. The next shot shows her inside a hospital room, still gasping for breath as she examined by healthcare professionals. “To be wild, you have to be healthy,” reads a super.

The intent of the spot is to celebrate the collective desire to live the kind of full and healthy life that only comes with access to top-notch healthcare, said The Garden’s co-founder and chief creative officer, Shane Ogilvie.

“What I love about this campaign is that it shows empowerment… It’s energetic and optimistic, focusing on the benefits of great healthcare, rather than just the need for great healthcare,” he said.

The video is being supported by billboards that maintain the same theme of wild activities made possible because of RVH, with headlines like “Less bedside. More wild side.” A  direct mail piece features what the agency calls a “lovingly crafted ode” to the natural wonder of the region, complete with a CTA to “Keep Life Wild.”

And we quote: “It was a perfect way to talk about the need for world-class healthcare close to home—by showing the community what we’d miss out on if we don’t have it.”— Adrienne Clarke, VP marketing and donor experience, RVH Foundation


David Brown