Cossette and SickKids Mark Father's Day with DadStrong

June 14, 2017



SickKids celebrates everyday heroes in the new spot DadStrong, released in time for Father’s Day on Sunday, June 18.


The video is the latest in the Cossette-produced SickKids VS campaign, which focuses on the fight by patients and their families against illness.


“What people may not realize or think about is that when a child spends their nights in the hospital, there is a parent spending the night there too,” says Lori Davison, VP brand strategy and communications at SickKids. “Typically, one parent will spend the day with the child, sometimes with siblings in tow, and then hand off to the other parent for the ‘night shift,’ which means sleeping on a cot in the child’s hospital room. It’s an exhausting reality for parents, both physically and emotionally.”


The DadStrong spot follows the highly successful MomStrong video released for Mother’s Day last month, which depicted the emotional struggles faced by mothers of sick children and their resilience to overcome for the sake of their kids.


DadStrong focuses on Frank, the father of a real SickKids patient named Naya, who has been in the hospital with myriad health conditions since she was born more than a year ago. Frank spends his days working at his own HVAC company, then heads to SickKids at night to relieve wife Stephanie of her daytime duty and allow her to go home with their other daughter.



“While the Mother's Day spot focused on the externalization of emotion, the Father's Day spot turned inwards,” says Jason Chaney, chief strategy officer at Cossette. “As we focused on the internalization of emotion to get through the day, it was critical to pause on one particular day of Frank to examine the experience in greater detail.”


“However, in each case, the parents share a very common experience, particularly as they are focused on what really matters—remaining strong for their children.” 


Says Davison of the two spots, “The intention was similar in wanting to bring to life a genuine insight about being a parent of a sick child. What was different was our desire this time to slow down and focus in on one single day of that parenting experience.”


DadStrong is running online on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and the SickKids website, and, like its Mother’s Day predecessor, points to the Get Better Gifts fundraising campaign at There, donors can see the specific things their money can provide, like video games or books for patients and glider chairs that allow kids to cuddle with their loved ones.


For its part, the MomStrong spot earned 83.1 million media impressions and more than two million video views, with the push to the Get Better Gifts site resulting in 273 per cent year-over-year growth. That makes it the most successful Mother’s Day campaign ever.



Advertising Agency: Cossette
Chief Creative Officer(s): Carlos Moreno, Peter Ignazi
Creative Director(s): Craig McIntosh, Jaimes Zentil

Associate Creative Director/CW: Noah Feferman
Associate Creative Director/AD: Jonathan Guy
Agency Producer: Dena Thompson
Account Supervisor: Lindsay Hill
VP, Brand Director: Michelle Perez
Chief Strategy Officer: Jason Chaney
Production House: Skin & Bones
Director: James Michael Chiang
DOP: Mark Zibert
Executive Producer(s): Dan Ford, Liane Thomas

Producer: Joan Bell

Post Producer: Tanja Harney
Editing House: Skin & Bones
Editor: Marka Rankovic
Transfer/Online Facility: The Vanity
Flame Artist: Sean Cochrane
Colourist: Andrew Exworth
Animation: The Mill NYC
Audio House: SNDWRX
Music Creative Director: Didier Tovel
Song: Sweet Child of Mine – Guns & Roses

?Clients – SickKids Foundation
VP, Brand Strategy and Communications: Lori Davison
Director, Integrated Brand Marketing: Kate Torrance
Associate Director, Community Stakeholder Relations: Lisa Charendoff

?M?arketing Manager: Tina Tieu

Director, Public Relations: Sandra Chiovitti
Manager, Public Relations: Lynn Bessoudo

Coordinator, Public Relations: Madeline Salerno


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