Effective Campaign Features Kids as Fighting Champions

June 18, 2020
Shira Pollard, PR & Marketing Manager, VCU Health System

Shira Pollard, PR & marketing manager, VCU Health System

“Nothing triggers an emotional reaction like watching someone trying to resist it. There’s a kids’ game in which the object is to stare at all the other kids and try to make one of them laugh while they resist. Trying not to laugh usually ended with an explosion of giggles all around,” notes veteran copywriter and frequent SHCM contributor Peter Hochstein.

“Similarly, somebody overcoming tough circumstances without crying is likelier to get your eyes tearing up than somebody who already is crying.”

Here’s an excerpt from Hochstein’s new article:

[The] principle of triggering emotions by showing people resisting them has been harnessed in a current advertising campaign by the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University.

This 182-bed hospital-within-a-hospital deals with “about 275,000” outpatient visits a year, as well as programs in physical, occupational, and speech therapy, according to Shira Pollard, the hospital’s PR and marketing manager.

CHoR’s advertising — on television, internet, radio, print, and billboards — probably won’t make you weep uncontrollably. But you may feel as if you’re on the verge of shedding a tear or two when you’re exposed to it, most especially the television advertising.

The ads feature kids afflicted with grave conditions who refuse to buckle under the weight of what ails them. Instead, while dealing with problems that range from cancer, to spina bifida, to heart and chronic kidney disease, the kids work bravely and think positively to overcome the lousy hand that life dealt them. They’re playing to win, which not only triggers emotions but coincidentally happens to be the theme of the campaign.

“We believe in seeing kids through their parents’ eyes,” says Jared Usrey, vice president for strategy at ReviveHealth, CHoR’s advertising agency in Nashville, Tennessee. “Parents see these kids as overcoming terrible afflictions.” Nevertheless, he says, “the kids are incredibly strong. They’re bundles of hope and enthusiasm and spirit…Even if they’re sick, they can have amazing days. So they’re champions.”

Read the full story and see spots from the campaign now:

Sick Kids with Fierce Determination Raise Preference Scores and Brand Recognition for Virginia’s Children’s Hospital of Richmond

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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