Hospital Cancer Campaign Avoids Schmaltz. Still Pulls Heart Strings


Every time we see a cancer ad, it's like "Oh please, not again with the sappy emo crap." But upon viewing these four spots for Akron Children's Hospital, we felt quite differently. Oh sure, they bring on the emotion, particularly the two featuring the brother and sister of a 3-year-old with leukemia, but they do it in a way that is entirely human and completely unproduced.

And that's because they weren't produced. More specifically, they were crafted by director of photography Andreas Von Scheele who spent 30-40 hours filming the commercial's subjects alone with no director or agency types hanging around the set. Yes, there was a director, Kevin Kerwin of Authentic Films but he stayed away from the shoot and out of sight.

In one set of commercials, a 14 year old boy talks about his love of basketball and how lymphoma has affected his life (One. Two). In another set, a brother and sister (this on will get you) tell the story of how their parents care for their two year old brother Cael and how his leukemia
has changes their daily routine.

Cleveland-based Marcus Thomas created the campaign which will air on approximately 20 broadcast and cable networks across northeast Ohio.

by Steve Hall    May- 4-09   Click to Comment   
Topic: Campaigns, Cause, Commercials, Good   

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The family has taken it very well. That is what is coming through.

Posted by: atul chatterjee on May 5, 2009 3:11 AM

Steve Hall...I found the article you wrote to be extremelly insensitive. But Im sure people are glad it still "pulled your heartstrings". You focused more on the production of the ad, other then the children, and the PURPOSE of the ad. I also know the director that you speak of and know that you are dead wrong. Before you write a low-class, insenstive article bound with your ego, get the facts straight.

Posted by: Susan on May 6, 2009 3:00 PM

I don't understand your comment, Susan. I like these ads. I gave them a positive review. I think they are great! How am I being insensitive? How am I not focusing on the children? I'm highlighting them. "Low class insensitive article"? Sorry, I just don't get what you are complaining about.

Posted by: Steve Hall on May 6, 2009 8:32 PM