An emotive campaign from the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation aims to raise funds for sick kids across Australia by highlighting the issue of homesickness for children undergoing treatment in hospitals.
The "Curing Homesickness" campaign, created by CHE Proximity, has engaged Aussie celebrities such as Nicole Kidman and Rose Byrne as well as commercial brands and companies like eBay, Walt Disney and retailer Coles to take part in the campaign, to raise funds for equipment, care and research to get kids home sooner.
It kicks off with a spot called "Mum's Sause," the (fictional) tale of Ali, a little girl in a hospital bed who writes a note to her mother saying she misses her pasta "sause." In the ad, her brother shares it on social media and it becomes an internet sensation, with retailer Coles manufacturing jars of the sauce, news anchors reporting on it and brands getting involved. The film ends with a reminder that "Ali's story isn't real," but then tells viewers that they can help make it real by buying the real-life sauce, going to screenings of Marvel's Avengers movies in aid of the campaign and buying Assembly Label clothing—all of which are donating money towards the cause.
“We are purposely blurring the line between reality and fiction," said Ant White, chief creative officer at CHE Proximity, in a statement. "Apart from Ali and her family, who are based on the stories of millions of Aussie families, everything in the film is real–Coles made Mum’s Sause, Assembly Label printed tees, Disney are hosting special screenings, Pasta Pantry are donating parts of their menu, eBay are contributing in a big way too. These are just some of the ways people can become part of the story. Even the influencers, newsreaders and journalists in the film will be posting, sharing and airing content today mirroring the story."
The campaign includes PR, outdoor, cinema and digital ads, all from donated media.