2021 Winner

Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation

The little brats


SilverCreative Catalyst

The Montreal Children’s Hospital was the first institution in Montreal focused on pediatric care. Despite its solid roots in English-speaking communities and major breakthroughs in research, the Hospital and its foundation have a hard time getting French-speaking Quebecers to donate to its cause. For the purposes of comparison, spontaneous awareness associated with CHU Sainte-Justine (the leading pediatric hospital) is twice as high as it is for the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

To launch its first major campaign after 28 years of discreet efforts that only targeted loyal donors mainly from English-speaking communities, the Foundation had to expand the scope of its mass communications. The goal was an ambitious one: raise $200 million by 2026.
Keeping in mind that only 5 out of 10 Quebecers make annual donations, and now having to compete with large institutions such as Sainte-Justine, Opération Enfant Soleil, Fondation Charles-Bruneau and Fondation Dr. Julien, the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation needed something big to stand out in the Quebec market.

In addition to raising the Foundation’s awareness, the objective was a two-fold one: create a breakthrough effect for the Foundation and reach out to potential French-speaking donors.

As a creative director, you’d expect a strategist to come up with a unique way to tackle a cause like sick children. Among the other challenges, the strategy team pointed out that “compassion fatigue” was a real struggle across the entire cause marketing spectrum. Acting differently wasn’t even an option. In order to avoid category conventions, the agency was briefed on a surprising idea: look at what defines a healthy child instead of exploring the usual territory of childhood illness. The various answers could unlock a very interesting and differentiating role for the Foundation.

After a couple of scrimmage sessions with the strategy and creative teams, one key insight came to light: a healthy child is often a bratty one. They knew this jumping-off point would be the springboard for the concept they were seeking: remind parents how lucky they are to have a bratty, rambunctious, and overexcited kid.

This is how the Long Live Little Brats campaign was born. The idea was to create a rallying cry and help the Foundation positively stand out. The campaign was deployed as part of an integrated communications strategy built around a two-and-a-half-minute digital video that allowed the agency to lay the groundwork for the campaign. The video featured The Clash’s “I Fought the Law” and showcased a little brat in her hospital room, drained of her energy from her battle with her disease. The content was a way to emotionally connect with the audience and showed an unfiltered image of the hardship experienced by real parents and their daughter. The video’s conclusion is the very essence of the strategy: a child can become bratty again thanks to the Foundation.

The campaign was also deployed on TV, in digital environments, via signage, and on the radio. In terms of public relations, Long Live Little Brats was discussed in several mass media outlets and by several “family” influencers. The theme was also leveraged by the campaign cabinet as part of its corporate fundraising activities. Members of the cabinet spoke of moments during their youth where they were genuinely bratty.

Long Live Little Brats had an emotional impact on parents who showed their support with donations. In November and December 2020, the total amount of donations rose from $1,216, 684 to $2,045,325–a 68% percent increase compared to the same period in 2019. The campaign also resulted in a 69% increase in the number of donations (from 7,014 to 11,819).
Long Live Little Brats also generated more buzz and interest than the Foundation’s own celebrity spokesman P.K. Subban. With more than 35,000 mentions on the brand’s platforms, the engagement rate reached record levels, even surpassing the engagement rate associated with P.K. Subban’s major donation announcement in 2015. Long Live Little Brats also generated more visits to the Foundation’s website than its annual flagship “P.K. Spin” event.

The campaign struck a chord with French-speaking Quebecers. In fact, for every 1 English-speaking user, 5 French-speaking users connected with the campaign. Normally, the dynamic is the other way around.

CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: Peter Ignazi, Louis-Philippe Tremblay
STRATEGY: Michel-Alex Lessard, Hugo Fournier
ART DIRECTOR: Matthew McDonald
AGENCY PRODUCER: Catherine Richard
Media Agency : Cossette media
MEDIA : Anne-Sophie Collins, Geneviève Marchand
ACCOUNT TEAM: Katherine Leftakis, Benoit Chapellier
Clients : Kim Fraser, Renée Vézina, Sylvie Desjardins
Anne-Sophie Collins
DIRECTOR: Benjamin Nicolas
SOUND and MUSIC: Cult Nation and Mathieu Lafontaine

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