Webby for Good is a collaborative program formed by The Webby Awards and WP Engine to showcase Webby-recognized projects built to change the world.

Describe your Webby-nominated project.What’s the elevator pitch?

Built in 1949, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) was falling apart and in desperate need of a $1.3 billion dollar overhaul. Such a monumentally daunting goal required us to rally the entire city of Toronto behind it. To dramatize the critical need, and get the city emotionally invested in a building, we created a gritty two-minute digital showing that if the patients could build it themselves, they would. The film featured real SickKids patients tearing apart their own homes and neighborhoods, salvaging materials to build the new hospital by any means necessary.

Why this particular cause as the subject of your project/campaign? Was there a moment that inspired it?

We are the agency of record for The SickKids Foundation and were tasked with creating this campaign. But more importantly, this cause is near and dear to our hearts as we are both parents of young children, and have many friends whose lives have been touched (and saved) by the incredible doctors, nurses, and researchers who work at the hospital.

What concerns were there about pursuing this idea? How did you get past them?

By far the biggest concern we had was in pulling off the production of the film itself. We had to manage 250+ real SickKids patients and their siblings, running through the scrapyards, and the streets of Toronto. For many shots, we needed 10+ Assistant Directors to manage the sheer number of kids. Since we were working with real patients and not actors we had to take extra special care with those kids with physical limitations (wheelchairs, crutches, IV poles, brittle-bone syndrome) to make sure no one was injured and everyone was having fun.

What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project? What did you learn in the process that you didn't know/expect going into it?

It was definitely rewarding to know that our creative contributed to a record-breaking fundraising campaign and had a tangible impact on the future for these kids. But even more rewarding were the messages and notes from parents mentioning how much it meant for their child to be a part of the film. For many kids, their self-esteem was instantly boosted in realizing how important they were to the advertising campaign, and additionally once they saw how heroic they appeared in the film.

What real-world impact were you hoping to make with this project? Did the real-world impact meet your expectations?

We were beyond thrilled with the impact our creative had. This film (and the rest of the integrated campaign) helped increase online donations by 21% and contribute to raising a record-breaking $102 million dollars towards building the new hospital.

About the Brand Strategy category

Online advertising campaigns with a clearly executed and insightful brand strategy.