Responses by Cam Spires, copywriter and Grace Cho, art director, Cossette
Background: The purpose of this one minute and eighteen-second spot “Feels Like Farther” was to drive awareness and donations for Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon (RMHBC). When seriously ill children need to travel out of town to Vancouver for medical treatment, their families can’t move into the hospital with them—so RMHBC gives them all a place to stay together. The target audience was primarily parents, but we also wanted to appeal to anyone with a big heart.
Reasoning: The idea came about when we were trying to get to the core of RMHBC and how it differs from other charities in the same field. We realized that while hospitals relieve physical pain, RMHBC relieves the emotional pain of being separated from those you care about when they really need you.
Challenges: What RMHBC does is amazing and noble, though it’s anything but simple. Explaining what it does can be a very logistical conversation, which is why we focused on the idea of distance and wrapped it in an emotional story.
Favorite details: The response from people who have been through this kind of trauma themselves. People have reached out to tell us that we accurately captured the heartbreaking feeling of being apart from their children, so now we hope other people will understand and be driven to contribute to this worthy cause.
Visual influences: We tried to tap into the raw emotion of being separated from your sick child when they really need you. In order to express this feeling of distance, we took a cinematic approach, inspired by movies about larger-than-life distances, such as Interstellar.
Specific demands: The toughest part of producing the spot was working with an overly ambitious script for our budget. Pitching the idea of shooting in the tundra, on a boat and in space was enough to scare some people off. Thankfully, it got others really excited, and partnering with production company Common Good and audio house Vapor RMW was a stroke of luck. There’s no way to quantify the talent and resources they brought to the project.