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Make-A-Wish 'Hope is Medicine' awareness campaign engages public in Chicago

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By Doug Zanger, Americas Editor

May 5, 2018 | 3 min read

In celebration of World Wish Day on Friday, Gyro and their client, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, took to the streets of Chicago to raise awareness of the organization and extend the brand’s “Hope is Medicine” campaign. Further, however, the goal was to change public perceptions about how wishes for children work.

Make-A-Wish public awareness event in Chicago

Make-A-Wish public awareness event in Chicago

“Make-A-Wish actually has more wishes than kids. There is often a general misconception that wishes are only for children suffering from terminal illnesses. That’s not the case. The wishes are for any children with serious illnesses,” said Doug Kamp, executive creative director at Gyro Chicago.

The public campaign took place in Pioneer Court in Chicago with people ranging from firefighters to medal-winning gymnasts inside giant medicine bottles to spark awareness and conversation around what Make-A-Wish can do to help a broader range of children. Research shows that hope for a sick child accelerates recovery time and the goal was to not to fundraise but to deepen the understanding of Make-A-Wish’s work.

“Our job wasn’t to solicit donations, it was to raise awareness that there are plenty of wishes to be granted and to get more kids to sign up,” added Kamp.

An estimated 30,000 people saw the campaign and some in attendance shared their stories of how Make-A-Wish made a difference.

“This was certainly one of the most unique ways we could come up with to demonstrate that Make-A-Wish grants lasting wishes, not just last wishes,” said Ryan Blackburn, marketing director of Make-A-Wish Illinois. “It’s hard to get people’s attention these days, but we certainly succeeded with this campaign. Gyro has given us a great deal of their creativity and heart.”

Most of the materials for the campaign were either free or set at a low cost. Costumes, pill bottles and printing were donated and the Pioneer Court space was rented at a very low rate. The campaign also includes print, posters and digital for Make-A-Wish.

Make-a-Wish: Make-A-Wish: Hope is Medicine, Chicago by Gyro

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