Sick Kids Can't Wait - Integrated Marketing Campaign

Sick Kids Can't Wait

Sick Kids Can't Wait - Integrated Marketing Campaign

Sick Kids Can't Wait; HudsonAmerican Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, is expanding to meet growing demand for highly specialized pediatric care. The "Sick Kids Can't Wait" campaign was launched in February 2012 to raise the funds needed to provide 26 more pediatric critical care beds, new operating room equipment and pediatric treatment spaces for children requiring advanced heart and radiological procedures.

This multi-channel integrated campaign includes the following elements:

  • Print and television advertising with commercials featuring Sick Kids Can't Wait campaign co-chair Cindy Crawford (whose brother was treated for leukemia at UW's children's hospital) and the University of Wisconsin football, basketball and hockey coaches (Bret Bielema, Bo Ryan, Mike Eaves and Mark Johnson)
  • An online Sick Kids Can't Wait content component and donation form, residing within our newly-redesigned website (launched in February 2012)
  • Several print pieces for donors that help us make our case, including inspiring patient stories and "We Built It and They Came" information outlining our rapid growth and increasing demand for our services
  • e-Newsletter, parenting blog and social media elements (see below)
  • External earned media placements in Sports Illustrated, (the official website of the Green Bay Packers) and various local media outlets (see below)
  • A "Double Your Impact" campaign with generous promotion from our partners at the UW Credit Union

Double Your Impact Campaign Results

The "Double Your Impact" campaign allowed donors to effectively double their gift through a match from a group of generous donors.

Double Your Impact for Sick Kids - Help Support American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, WisconsinThe campaign, promoted by our partners at UW Credit Union, ran from late November 2012 through February 2013, with a goal to raise $2 million. That goal was surpassed, with $2.09 million raised by the campaign's end.

About $54,000 was raised online through the website. Online contributions included:

  • 59 donations from UW Health employees
    ($9,585 total)
  • 236 donations from members of the public
    ($44,320.50 total)
  • 97 donations from UW Credit Union members
    ($15,605 total)

Double Your Impact Campaign Materials

The matching campaign included email communications, billboards, ads in Brava magazine (print) and on (online), as well as a variety of communications to members of UW Credit Union. Examples:


Sick Kids Can't Wait Campaign Results

Early "Sick Kids Can't Wait" results (February-April 2012) include the following:

  • 988 donations totaling $343,688 (4/18/12)
  • A historic large children's hospital donor made a new $100,000 gift
  • Donors adding the children's hospital to their estate planning, including an 80-year-old supporter providing a $400,000 gift and $1 million estate plan
  • Corporate donations between $30,000 and $100,000 from several local businesses
  • More than 450,000 people in Madison media market saw some element of the campaign in its first two months

Sick Kids Can't Wait Campaign Materials

Television Advertising

Television ads ran in the Madison designated market area and featured University of Wisconsin football, basketball and hockey coaches, as well as Sick Kids Can't Wait campaign co-chair and supermodel Cindy Crawford.

University of Wisconsin Coaching Staff: Bo Ryan, Mike Eaves, Bret Bielema
UW Coaches
University of Wisconsin Coaching Staff
Right now, UW coaches Bo Ryan, Brett Bielema, Mike Eaves and Mark Johnson are curing cancer. They're removing a brain tumor. And they're repairing a congenital heart defect. Watch Video
UW Coaches
Cindy Crawford, Supermodel, Philanthropist
Cindy Crawford
Cindy Crawford
Supermodel and Philanthropist
Right now, supermodel Cindy Crawford is performing a pediatric liver transplant. She's curing leukemia. And she's researching genetic disorders. Watch Video

Video Patient Stories

Stories about our American Family Children's Hospital patients were developed to help illustrate the need for our services to help children and families in Wisconsin and beyond. The video stories are used on our website and on our YouTube channel. The stories were unveiled at the Friends of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics gala in February, where we introduced the "Sick Kids Can't Wait" campaign.

Sick Kids Can't Wait; Meet Tyler
Meet Tyler

Diagnosed with life-threatening heart failure resulting from MCAD deficiency, Tyler Hall was saved by the availability of a heart-lung bypass machine known as ECMO at American Family Children's Hospital. Watch Video

Sick Kids Can't Wait; Meet Austin
Meet Austin
Austin's parents - and even his doctor - were surprised when the energetic 3-year-old was was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Now Austin makes weekly visits to American Family Children's Hospital as doctors try to get rid of his "cancer cooties," as the family refers to his illness. Watch Video
Sick Kids Can't Wait; Meet Teagan

Meet Teagan

When Teagan Marti fell 100 feet from an amusement park ride in July 2010, it wasn't clear if she would survive. "I can't believe she's alive," said Teagan's mother in the immediate aftermath. "I'm so glad she's alive." Since then, 14-year-old Teagan has made incredible progress, thanks in part to American Family Children's Hospital. Watch Video

Print Advertising

All print ads drive prospective donors online to to give:

Print Newsletter

The Sick Kids Can't Wait campaign/children's hospital expansion was featured in the print "Our UW Health" newsletter, which is mailed to 1,433,175 households in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.


The campaign was featured in our American Family Children's Hospital "Kids Connection" e-newsletter (approx. 5,800 subscribers), including a photo slideshow of our UW Hospital and Clinics CEO's visit with children's hospital patients and their families. The message was also sent to our "Our UW Health" e-newsletter subscribers (approx. 14,800 subscribers).


Supporting Print Materials

Brochures, fact sheets, patient stories and other supplemental materials for prospective donors and others interested in the project:

Parenting Blog

The campaign has been featured several times in our parenting blog, Growing Up Healthy:


Earned media about the Sick Kids Can't Wait campaign/children's hospital expansion project included several placements in local media outlets, as well as the following regional/national outlets. Media plans also included news conferences at American Family Children's Hospital featuring the family of a patient treated here who fell from an amusement park ride (the Teagan Marti family) and Green Bay Packers Coach Mike McCarthy and his wife, Jessica, co-chairs of the Sick Kids Can't Wait campaign.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Google AdWords advertising was deployed to effectively position the campaign in search results and reach potential donors. Since mid-February, our ads have been viewed by nearly 300,000 online readers within 200 miles of Madison and have brought over 200 potential donors to our Sick Kids Can’t Wait site.

  • Feb 18-April 30, 2012: 73 clicks, 99,809 impressions, $75 spend

Online Ads

Online ads were placed in various local news outlets/web publications (e.g.,,,,, with approx. 5.1 million online impressions. There were several versions of the online ads, including static banners and animated GIFs (examples below), all of which drove users to special Sick Kids Can't Wait donation pages (Coach Bo Ryan Donation Page | Cindy Crawford Donation Page).