Agency: Publicis
Date: Apr 2024
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In South Korea, when a child is hospitalized, their legal guardians are obligated by law to stay with them throughout their hospitalization. This leaves hundreds of thousands of mothers living in cramped, uncomfortable conditions on tiny caregiver beds for days, weeks, months – sometimes years – on end.

This unique caregiving culture is taken for granted by Korean society, and the struggles faced by mothers often go neglected. McDonald's, a partner with RMHC (Ronald McDonald House Charities), wanted to bring attention to their hardships and highlight the need for an RMHC House in Seoul. Each RMHC House supports families with sick children by providing a home away from home, but currently, South Korea has only one RMHC in Yangsan – 388km away from Seoul, where most children’s hospitals are situated.

Together with Leo Burnett Korea, McDonald’s launched ‘Mom’s Bed’ – a campaign that shows just how cramped and uncomfortable caregiver beds are. Overnight, dozens of installations appeared in locations around Seoul, highlighting how the city’s ubiquitous tiny benches are no bigger than parents’ hospital beds. On streets, landmarks, shopping malls and at McDonald’s restaurants, the installations compare the actual size of ‘mom’s bed’ with universal bed sizes, each inscribed with a real mother’s name, while QR codes link to genuine stories to inspire change, and invite donations.

Following a massive ‘Mom’s Bed’ installation in one of Seoul’s largest shopping malls, named Goyang Starfield, influencers and ambassadors also shared photos of themselves to show how unacceptable and uncomfortable caregiver beds are, leading to record-breaking donations to RMHC.

Thanks to the success of ‘Mom’s Bed’, a site has now been approved for Seoul’s first RMHC, which will be located right next to Seoul’s Children’s Hospital and is on track to open in 2024.

“With ‘Mom’s Bed’, we wanted to raise awareness of the desperate need for RMHC houses in Seoul. Thanks to all the generous donors and stakeholders who were inspired by this campaign – by shining a light on caregivers and the burden they shoulder, we are thrilled to confirm that Seoul will soon have its first RMHC,” says Haeyeon Lee, Chief Marketing Officer at McDonald’s Korea.

“Learning about the hardships faced by so many parents was an incredibly humbling experience. We hope that more parents will sleep a little easier, ready to face whatever challenges might lie ahead, as a result of this campaign,” says SooHee Yang, Chief Creative Officer at Publicis Groupe Korea.