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Clever Creative: Undeniably Strong

Today's "Clever Creative" for SickKids Hospital is undeniably strong, as are the patients featured in it.

Clever Creative: Undeniably Strong

Posted Thursday October 27th, 2016 by in Creativity + Art.

Today’s kick-ass “Clever Creative” is once again brought to us by Canada. In this undeniably strong 2-minute ad for Toronto’s SickKids Hospital, the stereotypes about ailing children are smashed, literally. Cossette, the marketing and communications agency behind this ad, found more than 50 patients and their parents who agreed to be a part of the project and over 100 members of the hospital staff offer to volunteer help on-and off-camera. This gripping ad is far from your average light-hearted children’s hospital commercial. It is the empowering battle cry of the patients and families, and it shows that they are fighters who aren’t weak. The music, the production elements, the storytelling, and the heart-stopping moment at the 1:22 mark all combine to make this a compelling ad:

Why our GEMites liked this Clever Creative:

What’s not to love? Everything about this ad is amazing, but its storytelling is by far one of its strongest attributes. At GEM, we value storytelling in our ads and highly respect when it is executed well. Cossette seamlessly guides you through the ups and downs of a hospital stay for both the children and their immediate families. They also do an excellent job of illustrating their internal strength by flashing between the patients and characters such as a wrestler, a boxer, a soldier, etc. just to show that that kind of power lies within. We love the empowering message that this ad delivers, along with the heart-wrenching 15 seconds of “defeat,” which shows the kids coming back even stronger. The commercial for the SickKids Hospital is a beautiful story that smashes stereotypes and is undeniably powerful.

Why our fellow creatives should like this:

We may not realize it as we absent-mindedly watch ads, but the music can really affect the overall feel of it. This new ad for the SickKids Hospital is pretty awesome in itself, but when you add the fierce track, "Undeniable" by Donnie Daydream and featuring Richie Sosa, it takes the intensity to another level. The creative decisions to cut out the music during the suspenseful moment when doctors are trying to revive a patient and muffle it when underwater, are pure genius. We think our fellow creatives should like this ad because it is not only spine-tingling, but also a great example of how choosing the right music can really amplify an ad’s effectiveness.

Perhaps one of the most powerful characteristics of this ad is its divergence from the typical children’s hospital commercial. Instead of just showing a few shots of patients, or child actors portraying patients, smiling in their beds and playing with toys that were donated, the SickKids Hospital and Cossette took a risk. Those other ads usually have a sad undertone that makes you feel bad for the patients, but this one wants to show you that they are strong fighters that deserve admiration. By taking a different path, we believe the hospital can engage more people — and supporters.

The ad keeps viewers on the edge of their seats and has the ability to impact the way people look at children’s hospitals and the journeys of the patients within them. This cinematic ad will make you want to watch it over and over again, and you’ll find it doesn’t ever lose its potency. SickKids Hospital’s newest creative is undeniably strong, as are the patients featured in it.

Let us know what you think, and look out for next week’s installment of Clever Creatives!

If you’re looking for some clever creative of your own, feel free to contact us.


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