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Special Project

Special Project
From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

St. Jude Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Campaign 2016

Entered in Non-Profit


Our vision was to lead the conversation during September's Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) in order to amplify the mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and to elevate the brand. Our goal was to rally people behind St. Jude's mission to end childhood cancer by providing meaningful opportunities to engage with and support the cause — chief among them, the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an event held on one of two days in 59 markets around the country. It was also important to differentiate the brand given the especially cluttered media landscape of an election year.

Strategy and Execution

We focused efforts on our core audience: The Compassionate Mom, charitably minded women ages 25–54 with kids. "Let's End Childhood Cancer. Together." became the rallying cry for both CCAM awareness and Walk/Run participation as a way to help. As a campaign theme, it also emphasized one of our most differentiating brand messages: "Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90%, and we won't stop until no child dies from cancer." We employed Twitter to increase awareness of CCAM and drive registrations for the Walk/Run in 19 signature markets, leveraging DLX audiences, behavior targeting and past campaign learnings to target key audiences and geo-locations. Facebook and Instagram were used to increase CCAM awareness and drive registrations in all 59 Walk/Run markets, by leveraging custom and lookalike audiences, behavior targeting and past campaign learnings, using Facebook Canvas ads in significant markets. Creative was rolled out in 4 phases: 1. Awareness (with posts and paid ads featuring St. Jude patients and our brand differentiator messaging), 2. Awareness/Activation (with posts and ads featuring patients and promoting the Walk/Run with "we won't stop" messaging), 3. Urgency/Act Now (posts and ads with a strong "register now" call-to-action and countdown to the Walk/Run event day), and 4. Thank You (featuring event video footage).


A total of 124.4 million impressions were achieved in paid and organic social, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat; 1.4 million overall site visits to our landing page during the campaign; nearly 80,000 participants registered for the Walk/Run; 6.7% Facebook engagement rate; 9.52% Instagram engagement rate; 1.35% Twitter engagement rate. The campaign surpassed $10 million in donations by the end of January 2017, and will gross more than $12 million including residual campaign gifts by the end of June 2017. Overall brand metrics and ratings for St. Jude are strong, indicating effective campaign performance and reach of the target audience. St. Jude ranks fifth overall in total awareness among charitable organizations measured, and fourth among women 25-54. Unaided awareness increased among the target audience of women 25-54. If women 25-54 could only support one charity, they clearly prefer St. Jude over other top charities; and results are similar among the general population. Awareness of CCAM increased among the general population, women 25-54 and in our signature markets. St. Jude maintains its leadership position on unaided association to CCAM across all key audiences, followed by Make-A-Wish Foundation and American Cancer Society.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital