The Design-a-Gown contest's main objective was to raise awareness and funds for better pediatric hospital gowns. Starlight Children's Foundation is a nonprofit that is revolutionizing children's hospital gowns. Through the Design-a-Gown contest, America was invited to create their own hospital gown in hopes of their design becoming the next great Starlight Gown. Being a sick kid stuck in the hospital is difficult. Having to wear an old, uncomfortable hospital gown makes it even worse. Starlight Gowns make kids feel like superstars by replacing unattractive, uncomfortable and embarrassing hospital garments with high-quality, comfortable and brightly colored gowns. The gowns transform children into astronauts, princesses, cowboys, and other characters so they can have fun and enjoy being kids. We hope one day that every hospitalized child will have a Starlight Gown.
The Design-a-Gown contest was a multi-faceted campaign that included a submission phase and a voting phase. We leveraged all of our communications networks, including our website, social media, email marketing, printed materials, special events, direct outreach to hospitals and schools to get people excited about the contest, encourage submissions and drive people to cast a vote on our website. It also provided the additional benefit of significantly increasing Starlight's fans, followers, and friends on our social media and email marketing and thereby improving our ability to communicate our mission to a broader public and raise funds critical to our mission.
The Design-a-Gown contest was open to kids and families in the US. We changed our homepage to be a contest page for participants to download a gown template, print it out, design it and then upload it. Part of the uploading process was to describe the inspiration and motivation behind their design.
We held two launch events. One at LAC+USC hospital in Los Angeles where we invited kids and families to design a gown, meet celebrities, enjoy refreshments and submit their design. The second event was at a Michaels Store in Los Angeles.
We rallied America to get behind the campaign in many ways:
Once submissions closed, Starlight constituents, that included Child Life Specialists and pediatricians, went through the gown designs to select 3 finalists.
To get America excited to vote the finalists, we sent award-winning sports writer, Rick Reilly, to all three hometowns to tell the stories of these artists. We shared the 2-minute videos on our social channels for America to rally behind their favorite contestant. Voting was open for 4 weeks and during that time each of the finalists were featured in national broadcasts and outlets.
Starlight's corporate partner, Niagara Cares, funded 30,000 Starlight Gowns with the winning design for hospitalized kids. We were so inspired by the tens of thousands of people who voted in our Design-a-Gown contest that we printed 15,000 Starlight Gowns with each runners up design. That's a total of 60,000 new Starlight Gowns that being given to hospitalized kids because of this contest!
In the span of merely 3 months from February 5 to March 15 these were are results:
• Nearly 850 Million media impressions
• Secured media coverage on The Talk, Good Day LA, San Jose Mercury News, SFExaminer.com, Northwest Herald, and Chicago affiliates ABC7 and NBC5
• Over 134,000 visitors to Starlight.org representing a 326% growth over a typical month
• Over 6,000 design submissions
• Over 33,000 participants voted
• Contest videos overall views: 1,488,500 Million
• 50+ celebrities including Martha Stewart, Elizabeth Banks, Melissa Joan Heart, "Weird" Al Yankovic and so many more shared about the contest on their social media channels
• Across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Starlight's social media channels saw a growth of 7,000 new followers and more than 4x the amount of engagement
• We exceeded our goal of 30,000 and delivered 50,000 new Starlight Gowns to hospitalized kids all across the US
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