Back in April, the fundraising foundation for Toronto’s Hospital For Sick Children (also known as SickKids) marked Mother’s Day by showing us the stories of real moms in moments of vulnerability due to grief, doubt, and fear over their gravely ill children. Now for Father’s Day, the SickKids Foundation tells the story of one dad named Frank, who’s daughter Naya, has a complex heart condition that required open-heart surgery, as well as other health conditions. She’s been living at SickKids since she was born 14 months ago.
The new spot, created by agency Cossette, follows Frank through his daily grind of running his own HVAC business on residential construction sites in Toronto. As a soft cover of “Sweet Child of Mine” plays, we see how his days end by taking over the night shift at the hospital to spend time with Naya.
SickKids Foundation vice-president of brand strategy Lori Davison says that, like the Mother’s Day ad, the intention here was 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 on one single day of that parenting experience,” says Davison. “What people may not realize or think about is that when a child spends a night in a hospital, there is a parent spending the night there too.”
Cossette chief strategy officer Jason Chaney says they chose Frank because, like many parents with children in the hospital, his daily journey is really about getting to his daughter after a long day of work. “This spot is Frank’s story; this is his every day down to every detail,” says Chaney. “The insight was a slight departure from the Mother’s Day film, in that we chose to focus on the internalization of emotion.”
The foundation will also be featuring a variety of dad stories in other content in the lead up to Father’s Day. As for Frank, there’s an added happy ending. Chaney says, “We were so elated to hear that shortly after filming, Frank’s daughter went home for the first time since she was born.”