The positive physiological effects of hope are becoming more recognized every day. Research shows that during the course of illness, belief and expectation – two mental states associated with hope—have an impact on the nervous system which, in turn, sets off a chain reaction that makes improvement and recovery more likely. No organization is in a better position to help a child with a critical illness take advantage of this emerging science than Make-A-Wish. By fuelling hope, Make-A-Wish gives children and families a moment of control over their disease and can play an important role in positive long-term outcomes. These insights let to the big strategic idea for this campaign which was to drive a perceptual shift for Make-A-Wish from “a final wish” to “fuelling hope”.
The answer didn’t come from a segmentation study or big data analysis, the insight emerged by talking to parents of children with a critical illness that had a wish granted by Make-a-Wish. They discussed how wish anticipation gave their child something to dream of, and their family something positive to plan for. A moment in time away from the stress of the disease. It gave them, hope. We matched this with emerging research demonstrating the proven physiological impact of hope. Doctors provided overwhelming feedback about physical improvements in their patients who take advantage of the hope a wish can help provide critically ill children. With this as a backdrop, the creative message was designed to trigger a re-evaluation of Make-A-Wish among parents of sick children, and ultimately change misperceptions. Rather than the last wish many parents considered it to be, Make-A-Wish was repositioned as a lasting wish that fuels hope. The “Hope Is Medicine” campaign communicated this new messaging, framing it as ‘medicine’ in a child’s treatment plan. Visually, we brought to life some of the most popular wishes as doses of hope delivered inside traditional medical formats like medicine bottles and IV bags.