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From the 3rd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Make-A-Wish® “Wishes Take Muscle” Campaign

Winner in Multi-Platform Campaign


On March 29, 2018, Make-A-Wish launched the 360-degree, multi-platform marketing campaign "Wishes Take Muscle" in collaboration with TBWA\CHIAT\Day and WWE. The objective of this campaign was to communicate that Make-A-Wish is an essential part of a child's medical treatment plan because wishes have proven physical and emotional benefits that can give children with critical illnesses a higher chance of survival. The campaign goal was to achieve 300MM potential impressions.

The campaign featured an uplifting, yet emotional video and PSA that served as the cornerstone of the campaign. John Cena, who has granted more than 500 wishes, co-stars in the PSAs alongside actual wish kids, like Kaheem who wished to be a superhero.

In addition to John Cena, the campaign featured several all-star celebrity wish granters including Johnny Depp, Becky G, Steve Harvey and Judd Apatow, who lent their talent to enhance the collective Make-A-Wish voice through our campaign video and radio series.

During the campaign, Make-A-Wish America and its chapters across the country shared powerful wishes that have been experienced by more than 450,000 wish kids, families and communities worldwide since 1980.

Strategy and Execution

A unique strategy to engage the public and sponsor and celebrity partners was the integration of the #ArmWrestleChallenge. As part of the "Wishes Take Muscle" campaign, Make-A-Wish launched this fun and engaging social media activation. People in every community across the country are essential in making wishes come true, and they were encouraged to participate in the #ArmWrestleChallenge to help raise awareness and funds for Make-A-Wish.

The #ArmWrestleChallenge was kicked off by John Cena, who challenged his celebrity friends to participate. Make-A-Wish fans and followers were encouraged to take a video of themselves arm wrestling an opponent with a plate of something sticky on each side. These videos were then uploaded to a variety of social media platforms with #ArmWrestleChallenge and Make-A-Wish tags. The losers of the challenge were encouraged to donate double of whatever the winners donated to Make-A-Wish to help grant wishes for kids with critical illnesses.

As part of the implementation of the "Wishes Take Muscle" campaign and PSAs, all social media, print and digital assets starred wish kids who showed their strength in fighting their illnesses.

Make-A-Wish and WWE supported the campaign through paid, earned and owned media including:

-Public relations and communications including a "The TODAY Show" appearance

-TV PSAs (English and Spanish)

-Radio PSAs (English and Spanish)

-Print advertisements

-Make-A-Wish and WWE social media engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn campaign landing page

-WWE TV Programming

-WWE Network & PPV

-WWE Live Events

-WWE UpUpDownDown Integration

-Make-A-Wish, WWE and TBWA\CHIAT\Day Employee Engagement


Overall, the "Wishes Take Muscle" campaign has garnered more than 620MM impressions as a result of the PSAs (TV and radio), public relations, social media activations and sponsor activations. Highlights of key activations include:

Broadcast PSAs:

-The TV and radio "Wishes Take Muscle" PSAs generated more than 51MM impressions.

Public Relations & Communications:

-The public relations and communications for "Wishes Take Muscle" garnered 36.8MM potential impressions.

-WWE Superstar, John Cena's discussion of World Wish Day and the "Wish Take Muscle" campaign on THE TODAY SHOW was the campaigns most valuable media placement with 4.2MM potential impressions.

-Five separate hits throughout the month on WWE programming (Monday Night RAW and WWE Smackdown!) generated 18.6MM potential impressions.

-Make-A-Wish coordinated publicity efforts led to 489 total placements delivering 14.3MM potential impressions.

Overall Social Media Results: #WorldWishDay, #ArmWrestleChallenge

-The social media campaign garnered 282MM potential impressions (Twitter/Instagram).

-The #ArmWrestleChallenge hashtag was mentioned 7K times with a potential of 123MM impressions.

-The World Wish Day Profile Frame was used 16K time across Facebook.

-Top Social Media Influencers who participated in the "Wishes Take Muscle" and #ArmWrestleChallenge Campaign: WWE, John Cena, WWE Sheamus, Guy Fieri, Bella Twins, Philadelphia Eagles, Rhett & Link, Lily Singh, Dude Perfect, Coyote Peterson

Make-A-Wish Corporate Sponsor Activation:

-In addition to WWE more than 30 Make-A-Wish corporate sponsors supported the campaign. These sponsor activations included support via social media, in-store activations and launching fundraising landing pages.


Video for Make-A-Wish® “Wishes Take Muscle” Campaign

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Make-A-Wish; TBWA\Chiat\Day; WWE


Entry Credits