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BC Children's Hospital's New PSA Dares To Give The Gift Of More Space

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation enlisted the aid of DARE Vancouver to come up with a new campaign to help raise funds for the construction of a new children’s hospital. The strategic challenge was to acquire major gift fundraising, while also getting to the bottom of ‘why’ a new facility is needed, and why it’s needed now.

As the work on the campaign started, it was quickly discovered that the BC Children’s Hospital simply did not have enough space to perform the level of care required on an ongoing basis. A growing population, bigger operating teams, greater use of technology and cramped patient rooms are just some of the reasons why a new and larger building is required. The foundation is raising GiveSpaceCampaignFeaTile2$150 million to support construction of the new hospital.

To illustrate the issue, the DARE campaign uses optical illusions to visually bring the space shortage to life for potential donors. Gillespie and Thomsett said, “It wasn’t until we toured the hospital that we really understood the problem. We needed to come up with a simple way to demonstrate the hospital’s dire lack of space.”

Stephen Forgacs, Director of Communications for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation says, “We were in the middle of our capital campaign and needed a message that would resonate with potential donors at all levels, opening the door to conversations regarding the need for a new hospital. Dare seized on a simple truth about our hospital, that we’ve run out of space, and leveraged that to design some very compelling creative.”

BCCHF Capital Campaign-Magazine-1_72The campaign consists of TV (see below), radio, out of home posters, print and online/mobile banners. For TV, DARE teamed up with production company OPC FamilyStyle and Director, Miles Jay, to create two unique spots. Both spots use optical illusions as a technique to illustrate the problem, and are shot in-camera without any adjustments or special effects. In the ‘Hospital Ward’ spot, an Ames room was created so that people seem to get bigger as they walk across the room. In the ‘Operating Room,’ a hallway was built using forced perspective (8-foot ceilings at the far end and 5-foot ceilings in the foreground) to make it appear as though the room becomes smaller as people enter.

The print creative shows hospital staff working in spaces that are half the size of what they truly need, and the online banner urges users to complete a simple task – to check a child’s temperature by pressing a button. As they mouse over the ad, their cursor becomes excessively large, replicating the feeling of nursing staff who have little room to perform their jobs.

The campaign is now live and will run through to the end of March 2013. For more information visit

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