A Hospital for Kids Touches Musicians – Now Their Music Touches a Community and Helps Build the Hospital’s Brand Awareness
by Peter Hochstein
The big idea happened because Rick Ender sometimes takes his work home.
One evening Ender, the creative director at Atlanta advertising agency Frederick Swanston, was working on concepts for a new campaign for Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, KY. Meanwhile, his kids were watching “American Idol” on television.
“Just then,” recalls Ender, “Diddy and Skylar Grey sang their No. 1 chart-topping hit, ‘Coming Home.’ I listened to the first few bars and I thought, Oh my gosh, what a great track that would be for the children’s hospital.”
Pause here for a backstory. Agency people, including Ender and Una Newman, senior account director, had spent days in the hospital talking to doctors, parents, patients, and nurses.
What emerged, says Newman, is that “when a parent has a child that has a severe disease, or is severely injured, the thing the parent really wants is for that child to come home as healthy as can be, and to live life to the fullest.” While that may not be surprising, it did confirm where the agency should focus.
Which is why the sentimental “Coming Home” seemed so appropriate. But could the rights to a hit song be purchased with a tightly limited budget? Ender put in calls to the music companies EMI Recorded Music and Universal Music Group to inquire. After some delays pertaining to copyright disputes among the song’s stakeholders, Universal finally called back and asked what Kosair Children’s could afford to spend for music rights.
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