Ads We Like: Akron Children’s Hospital uses adorable user footage to highlight mission

Happy kids can make anyone smile, and the way Akron Children’s Hospital uses footage from its families helps connect people with the hospital and its care for young kids.

Akron Children’s Hospital and its agency of record, Marcus Thomas, are asking for ‘More childhood, please,’ in an engaging campaign. It argues that with illness, injury, jam-packed family schedules, screen addiction, scary nightly news, and online bullying, there are many forces that steal precious time away from childhood.

Using the power of found amateur footage and audio, the campaign celebrates the authentic joys of childhood and reminds audiences not to take a single second of it for granted, while echoing how many parents in 2019 video capture and chart their children’s many milestones. ‘More childhood, please’ features real patients, employee families, and kids in the Akron, Ohio community — and the result is a beautifully imperfect, authentic look at childhood as it whizzes past, moment by moment.

“Through ‘More childhood, please,’ we have the chance to highlight our role in safeguarding and celebrating everything that’s special about childhood. We want kids to be kids, no matter what challenge they’re facing. And our care providers are here to support families — not only during those big moments like surgeries and hospitalizations —– but day in and day out,” said Beth Smith, vice-president for marketing and public relations at Akron Children’s Hospital.

In a 60-second anthem spot, babies in cute costumes are seen alongside kids playing with pets, dancing at recitals, making faces while eating food they don’t like, and getting into mom’s skincare products. Those are seen alongside kids getting care in the hospital. A voice over states that there are good days and bad in childhood, and that the hospital takes care of all kids at all stages of health and development.

Digital radio spots for the campaign were created with found sound recordings of children laughing, singing songs, and telling wildly imaginative stories.

Through integrated elements, the campaign captures the many ways in which Akron Children’s Hospital delivers more childhood, including pediatric expertise that can add years to children’s lives, and helps children fighting illness and injury live their lives to the fullest extent possible. Additionally, the spots feature their dedicated staff, who bring the little joys of childhood to patients whose lives have been interrupted by illness or injury, and all of the ways that the entire organization is committed to helping every child have a happier, healthier childhood through community programs, educational resources and increased access to care.

“Over the past decade, we’ve had the privilege of meeting some incredible kids and have shared the work of Akron Children’s through their individual stories. “More childhood, please” allows us to capture the amazing things that the organization is doing for all kids. They are truly a defender of childhood — every little piece of it. It’s about helping kids when an illness or injury interrupts their lives, but it’s about emotional and social health, too. It’s about showing appreciation for — and advocating for — all the moments that make childhood so remarkable.

“Turns out we didn’t need a cinematographer or special effects crew to bring these moments to life. Just a lot of loving parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents — all armed with smartphones — ready to document childhood as it speeds by,” said Stephanie Burris, executive creative director at Marcus Thomas.

The campaign will incorporate multiple touchpoints, including network and cable television, digital pre-roll, connected TV, native video, Facebook and Instagram news feed videos and Stories, streaming radio with audio and video units, and out-of-home billboards. Both the 60- and 30-spots will run on the night of the Super Bowl in both the Cleveland and Youngstown viewing areas.

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