Challenge: A group of pediatricians, benefactors and marketers approached the Brandcenter to help them market a proposed children’s hospital to the Richmond area. Since the coalition was already targeting donors and focusing on partnering with other Richmond hospitals, my team and I took on the challenge of marketing to parents in the Richmond area.

What we did: We started by looking at the current landscape of hospitals both nationally and in Richmond. Their definitions of success revolved around numbers and statistics - number of patients treated, number of successful heart surgeries, and number of pediatric ER admissions. Since this hospital doesn't yet exist or have numbers to sell itself, we would have to think about pediatric healthcare differently than what's already out there.

In speaking with parents, it became clear that there was a disconnect between how hospitals were defining success and what parents value. Parents have a very different definition of success in a hospital. To a parent, success is having their child win their own battle. We decided to focus on a new definition of success for this hospital and what it could bring to parents in Richmond.

What we learned: Parents only care about one success and one statistic - whether or not their child will win their fight with their disease. To win that fight, parents need to believe that the doctors and nurses are on their side and will fight for their child.

When you are busy soothing and comforting a child, it’s really challenging to hear and process everything the emergency doctor is saying. You just hope and pray they are making the right call.
— Rachel Frommelt, mother of two children (ages 3 and 2)
They don’t ask about which medication is best or whether I have my specialty certification. They ask for reassurance and emotional support.
— Margaret Hopkins, RN, CCRN, Hackensack University Medical Center

What it means: This hospital doesn’t have numbers to define itself, and parents don’t want to hear about numbers when it comes to their child’s health. We had the opportunity to redefine what success means for a hospital. Success for this hospital is winning the trust of parents and showing that this hospital will be their champion and partner in the fight for their child’s health. I summed up our strategy in one word - "victory."

The hospital will represent victory on several levels:

  • Getting the hospital built will be a victory over complacency that the current fragmented options for children's healthcare in the Richmond area are fine.
  • Secondly, it will be a victory for the groups fighting to get this hospital built.
  • Thirdly, victory will happen inside the hospital - a baby in the NICU getting to go home, a boy in elementary school getting the ER to sign his cast, or a terminally ill child getting to spend one last holiday season with her family. We named our hospital Commonwealth Children's Health.

What we did: We wanted the local community to champion the hospital. Local businesses in the Richmond area would be encouraged to display flags bearing CCH's initials to show that they were partners in working towards victory. Our Little Battle Kit included kid-friendly designs on Band-Aids that kids could put on their small "battle wounds." Once the hospital was completed, our website design would streamline the healthcare journey for parents, creating a battle map that would make it easier for them to track their child's appointments, medications and upcoming hospital events.

Our "Share A Story" kiosks would bring a human face to the supporters of the hospital. Individuals in the Richmond area would be able to record stories about their favorite little fighters at the kiosks to encourage children and families fighting for their health. The stories would live on the hospital's website.

Our TV spot summed it up by putting out a call to action within the community.


Art Direction: Blair Seward
Brand Management: Garrett Lyon
Copywriting: Conor McCann
Creative Technology: Samson Desta