2021 Winner

SickKids Foundation

SickKids AirBNB

No Fixed Address

SilverCause/Public Service

BronzeSocial/Conversational Strategy

Despite being a world-renowned hospital and a beloved national institution, SickKids was struggling to raise the remaining $400 million it desperately needed to upgrade its badly outdated building. Without a renewed influx of donor support to fund a new building, SickKids would be unable to keep up with the scale of patients and the technology required to care for them. The challenge was to "seed the need” amongst potential or lapsed donors and rally support for the construction of a desperately needed new hospital building.

SickKids Hospital had become a victim of its world-class reputation and success. To “seed the need”, they would have to shatter the gap between perception and reality. Primary research revealed that over 80% of the target donor pool perceived SickKids as a state-of-the-art facility, and a well-funded organization. That perception was a serious dilemma for SickKids because donors want to support causes where they can maximize the impact of their financial contribution. In other words, donors choose causes that are in desperate need of support, not thriving institutions.

They discovered that the target donors didn’t rally behind the desperate need for a new hospital because the shiny image of SickKids was masking the cracks in the building’s ailing infrastructure. In order to “seed the need,” they needed to close the gap between the glossy perceptions of SickKids and the day-to-day reality of being a patient, family member, or staff in an outdated building.

The most profound experience is a lived experience. They would shatter perceptions by recreating an exact replica of the SickKids Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and putting it up on AirBnB for people to experience. They would be able to see SickKids first-hand from the perspective of the families who call the hospital home.

First, they transformed a hospital boardroom into an exact replica of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Every detail was accounted for, including hand-written charts, worn tape on the floor, the constant beeping of machines and whimpers of children.

With the stage set, they then orchestrated an immersive, three-hour experience including a 100-track soundscape complemented by live reenactments featuring SickKids doctors, nurses, and voice recordings from real families, creating a truly authentic experience. Then, they put the experience up on AirBnB for people to book.

The listing contained all of the same information you’d expect on AirBnB while illustrating the two sides of the story: amazing quality of care despite the limitations of the space. The experience was valued at $16,744, the cost to operate a four-patient room in the PICU for one night, and was available to book on Airbnb.ca.

To catapult the conversation, notable Torontonians including NBA Champion Fred VanVleet checked in for the night and they captured their guest’s emotional reaction. Those who experienced the SickKids Airbnb first-hand immediately understood the need for a new hospital. They combined the interview content with real-time guest reactions to create powerful videos that dramatized the gap between the glossy perception of SickKids and the desperate need for a new hospital building.

Armed with powerful video content featuring tear-jerking testimonials and local celebrity heroes, they entered the second phase of the program: to “seed the need” nationally. To drive mass awareness, they invited national media outlets to experience the recreated PICU and interviewed hospital spokespeople on the daily infrastructure issues. The videos were then shared on owned channels and used to pitch to additional media outlets across the country.

The campaign has generated over 139 million earned traditional and social media impressions; over 250 pieces of coverage including coverage in North American outlets such as Newsweek, yahoo, MSN, CBC, CTV, Global News, CP24, Huffington Post; and over 26,000 visits to the Airbnb listing, the most viewed listing in Canada. During the SickKids Airbnb campaign, SickKids Foundation saw a 28 percent increase in new users to its site, 25 percent increase in traffic/page views and most importantly, a 27 percent increase in donation revenue.

Dave Federico, CCO, NFA
Josh Budd, CCO, NFA
James Leake, ACD, NFA
Dylan Wagman, CW, NFA
Luan Pirola, AD, NFA
Erin Banting, PR, NFA
Mackenzie Biddie, PR, NFA
Jessica Hoffeldt, PR, NFA
Nick Wong, PR, NFA
Zach Klein, Head of Strategy, NFA
Dino Demopoulos, Chief Strategy Officer, NFA
OMD, Media Company
WDI MEDIA INC., Production House
Will Dempster, Director / Producer, NFA
Christian Bielz, DOP, WDI MEDIA INC.
Nick Marinelli, Technical Director, WDI MEDIA INC.
Rooster, Offline Editorial
Colin Murdock, Editor, Rooster
Melissa Kahn, Executive Producer, Rooster
Alanna Homuth, Producer, Rooster
Shane Preston, Junior Editor, Rooster
alter ego, Colour & VFX
Eric Whipp, Senior Colourist, alter ego
Jonah Venneri, Colour Assistant, alter ego
Hali Gale, VFX Artist, alter ego
Hilda Pereira, Colour & VFX Executive Producer, alter ego
Spencer Butt, Colour & VFX Producer, alter ego
SNDWRx, Audio House
Didier Tovel, Audio Design, SNDWRx
Alison Lawee, Executive Producer, SNDWRx
WXM, XM House
Nicole St. Jean, XM Production Lead, WXM
Damian Wright, XM Supervisor, WXM

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Rowan Traynor at 1-416-408-2300 x213 or rtraynor@brunico.com.