Sunnybrook beams innovative media pitch

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto enlisted Dentsu Canada earlier this year to help with an ambitious goal of raising $470 million. The TV, outdoor and radio campaign launched this week after an atypical charitable media pitch.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto has launched the first leg of its new campaign that will help the hospital on the road to raise $470 million by 2014.

Instead of following what he says is a typical charitable media strategy of sending creative to media sellers and hoping it will make it to air, David Cairns, director of communications planning at Dentsu, says they brought in senior media sellers for a briefing to connect with the hospital and the importance of the cause.

‘We appealed for their help in this, with the hope that we would elevate our task to the top of the pile. They reacted extremely positively. I think there is a real desire on the part of media sellers to be partners in the process, as opposed to last-minute purveyors of media space,’ Cairns told MiC. This is the first big media campaign for the hospital.

Media unrolling this week and running for the next five months includes TV ads on Canwest specialty channels, print ads in the Globe and Mail, on radio through Astral Media’s properties and a variety of OOH placements in the GTA, including transit.

As part of the agency’s research for the campaign – that highlights the centre’s innovation in technology and treatments – the team at Dentsu Canada, which won the account earlier this year, went on daily rounds with doctors, witnessing the daily drama and miracles at Sunnybrook, says Glen Hunt, creative catalyst at Dentsu Canada.

‘I believe it was a nurse who had the innovation of placing premature babies into a plastic bag to keep their temperature up. It was just an incredibly emotional experience,’ he told MiC. ‘What we’re trying to emphasize as well is that they really are inventing the future of healthcare.’

Innovations pioneered at Sunnybrook highlighted in the ads include radioactive seeds that kill breast cancer tumors, while a spot features Sunnybrook’s trauma program, which is the first and largest of its kind Canada.