What is it?
After operating in the UK for 20 years, Ronald McDonald House Charities has launched its first national campaign to raise awareness of its work. It provides free ‘home away from home' accommodation for families that have children in hospital. The charity has 15 houses that, with more than 25 sets of Ronald McDonald family rooms, provide more than 450 bedrooms at hospitals throughout the UK for families to use every night of the year.
The new campaign features a character called Little Box, aimed at dramatising the situation of many young children when they are staying in hospital. The charity has created a 60-second advertisement showing what happens to the character.
Alone in a hospital, Little Box draws on the fears and insecurities that a child in a big imposing hospital will feel, without the security of having Mum and Dad close by. Waking up alone, the character explores the hospital and at the end of the ad he is reunited with his parents in a Ronald McDonald House.
View the video here:
The charity has launched a microsite for the campaign, featuring the ad. Viewers are encouraged to share the video on Facebook, to spread awareness of the campaign. The charity has also created a hashtag for people to use on Twitter - #littlebox.
The advertisements will be shown at selected Odeon cinemas across the UK before screenings of the children’s films Madagascar 3, Frankenweenie and Hotel Transylvania.
Print ads in Ok, Reveal, New and Now will include case studies featuring families that have stayed in Ronald McDonald houses.
McDonald’s restaurants are supporting the campaign and are displaying materials in the restaurants, including leaflets, posters, tray liners featuring QR codes.
Who’s behind it?
Advertising agency Leo Burnett created the video for the charity.
Third Sector verdict:
Despite being in the UK for 20 years and being associated with one of the world's best known fast food brands, RMHC has a relatively low profile. The character in the ads is likely to be remembered by viewers and associated with the charity. It works better than a child actor and will appeal to children who see the video. Choosing to show the ad before children's films also ensures that it will reach the charity's key audience: young families.