Completion date: November 2017

Client: MagicMakers

Project: „Together for MagicHOME” Campaign

Context & objectives

500 children are diagnosed with cancer in Romania, every year. 5000 children are already undergoing treatment for this disease. Specialized clinics, which can provide the treatment they need, are far from their homes, in most cases. The large transportation and accommodation costs are the main cause for which many children are diagnosed late, postpone or interrupt the treatment or do not show up for the regular check-ups. All these factors reduce the chances to heal dramatically (50% versus 70% – the European average). The parents who do not give up only have one alternative to be close to their children, during treatment: a hospital chair.

And when children need support from their families the most, the family member/the parent must undergo a true test of resistance: sleeping on a chair besides the hospital bed, without conditions for personal hygiene, no place to do their laundry, to cook their dinner. MagicHOME provides accommodation and facilities for the families of children diagnosed with cancer or other serious diseases, in the first MagicHOME located in Bucharest, close to the main hospitals for children with oncologic diseases, and more (the Bucharest Institute of Oncology, and the Fundeni Clinical Institute).

However, the current accommodation was overwhelmed with requests and could no longer meet the needs of the parents of cancer patients. Under these circumstances, MagicMakers needed a bigger house, and had ambitions to match: a 700 sqm house, which can host 30 times more people in need, versus the accommodation capacity of the initial centre. It took 10,000 SMSs (x EUR 2) for this dream to come true.

Idea

The pain of suffering children generates the most intense emotions. Therefore, no one had considered the parents until that moment, everyone was only thinking about the sick children. The challenge of the campaign was the following: was it possible to trigger the collective mind, to determine people to also consider the parents who care for their children from a hospital chair? Putting people in the parents’ shoes: that was the creative approach developed by the Jazz Communication agency, and communicated by Rogalski Damaschin PR. Thus, the awareness instrument and symbol of the campaign was a hospital chair, on which parents, regular people, celebrities etc. sat non-stop, in solidarity with the parents of children suffering from cancer, until the necessary SMSs were collected. The chair for parents of children suffering from cancer was located strategically in a highly visible central area of Bucharest – at the Galateca art gallery. Everyone passing by the gallery would see someone sitting non-stop on the chair of suffering, as well as the call-to-action message of the campaign: “Donate EUR 2 for the parents of children suffering from cancer”.

Strategy

The campaign strategy was based on identifying and capitalizing a symbol strong enough to create an experience that determines the people to feel the parents’ discomfort, to realize how important it is to provide them with the minimum of refuge, for the moments when they do not watch over their children. To ensure its success, the campaign involved a large number of endorses and celebrities, who became the most vocal and influential ambassadors of the campaign. The creative idea was supported by a meticulous communication plan, which entailed clear stages, target-based messages, and constant communication with the mass-media institutions, for the latter to keep up with the dynamic of this campaign, considering that data changed day by day, while the number (and notoriety) of those who sat on the chair at Galateca increased exponentially.

Implementation

The campaign started with a press conference held at Galateca, where the campaign video ran for the first time: famous protagonists sitting on the chair of suffering. Three VIP ambassadors of the campaign participated in the press conference: Oana Pellea, Antonia, and Marius Manole. Oana Pellea was the first person to sit on the hospital chair at Galateca, followed by Marius Manole, and Antonia.

The press conference was followed by intense media pitching actions, as a series of celebrities, sportspeople, journalists accepted to join the campaign. Dozens of live broadcasts about the campaign were made from Galateca, between the moment of campaign launch, and the moment when the fundraising campaign ended. The journalists were briefed on weekly basis about the campaign dynamic – SMSs received until the briefing moment, number of people sitting on the chair etc. The fundraising campaign for the MagicHOME centre generated massive mobilization of the people who felt the need to help in numerous way, by sitting on the chair at Galateca, by sending an SMS, or by making bank transfers. The fundraising campaign for building a new centre for parents with children suffering from cancer ended on the same night when PRO TV broadcast the “România, iubesc” edition dedicated to the MagicHOME campaign.

The end of the fundraising campaign was marked by a press conference where the two MagicMakers founders and project initiators presented the MagicHome project details, and thanked the public. Vlad Voiculescu was also the last one to sit on the chair at Galateca.

Results

The campaign generated a huge wave of sympathy, which led to massive mobilization and collection of the SMSs necessary, in less than a month. The campaign generated massive media coverage, including 20 TV news items, broadcast in prime time. Total estimated reach of the campaign: 25 million opportunities to see. The piece with the highest rating was undoubtedly the feature run during the “România, te iubesc!” program on PRO TV – with over 1.7 million viewers, at national level. At the moment when the program was broadcast, PRO TV led the ratings for commercial audience, ages between 18 and 49, 7.5 rating points, and 21.4% share (the station on the second position, ANTENA 1, recorded 6.1 rating points, and 17.5% share). The campaign video “reached” almost 2 million people (organic reach), with 258,000 minutes of viewing time.