2016 Winners

BRONZE: Cause & Action

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada - #RMHCthankyou

Over the past 10 years, 10 cents from every Happy Meal purchase has gone directly to Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada (RMHC), a charitable organization that provides a place for out-of-town families to stay while their sick child is treated at a nearby hospital. Contributors to RMHC have made a huge impact on Canadian families, but they've never been properly thanked – at least not in the genuine and heartfelt manner that so many RMHC beneficiaries would express if given the chance.

While Canadians have enthusiastically embraced the program and provided significant contributions to RMHC, they have never been able to make a strong personal connection with the families they've helped. Further, many Canadians may not be aware of the support our 14 Ronald McDonald Houses provide.

Charitable organizations with the size and impact of RMHC can be seen as faceless, and often small donations can feel like they're simply a drop in the bucket. A human "thank you" gives a deeper understanding of the invaluable service that RMHC provides and further cements the relationship between contributors, families and the charity itself.

On Sept. 17, every meal ordered at McDonald's was served in a Happy Meal Box; rather than a toy, it included a handwritten "thank you" note from a family, parent or child who had spent time in one of RMHC's 14 houses across Canada.

The notes said "thank you" in highly individual and often very emotional ways, allowing families to take the opportunity to connect in a human-to-human way.

A video documenting the surprised guests' reactions, along with footage showing several RMHC families creating the notes, aired on RMHC's YouTube channel, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Canadians were encouraged to share both the video and their thank you notes online using #RMHCThankYou.

The organization also created a microsite, RMHCThankYou.ca, where visitors could see all the thank you cards and learn more about the personal stories of RMHC families. The video and the site were supported via banner ads and social media.

The in-restaurant experience included 1.9 million thank you cards given out in every restaurant across Canada. By 9:20 a.m. on the morning of the in-restaurant event, the hashtag #RMHCthankyou (which was printed only on the backs of these cards) was trending – with a 12% engagement rate, exceeding the 1% benchmark. A video was created and posted the following morning sharing the event experience.

Within the first nine days, there were 1.5 million views. Along with paid and earned media mentions, shares from grateful RMHC families, visits to our thank you card gallery at RMHCThankYou.ca, and the help of our supportive guests, the total program reach was over 21 million.

But most importantly, we helped our guests feel good about supporting the Happy Meal program and continued to grow a community of support for families that stay at Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada.


Agency: Cossette

Client: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada

Chief Creative Officers: Peter Ignazi, Carlos Moreno

SVP, Creative Director: David Daga

Creative Director: Joe Piccolo

Sr. Writer: Rachel Abrams

Art Directors: Michael Siegers, Natalie Mathers

Account Executive: Lindsay Kerr

Account Supervisor: Heather McCann

Account Director: Nevena Djordjevic

EVP, Client Leadership: Valerie Swatkow

Strategist: Paulo Leone

Agency Producers: Colleen Floyd, Risa Sone

Project Managers: Nicole McArthur, Gabriel Rodrigue

Production House: Skin and Bones

Executive Producer: Dan Ford

Director: Jake Kovnat

Line Producer: Luke Bryant

Editorial: Soda Post

Executive Producer: Mina Jang

Editor: Gerrit Van Dyke

Assistant Editor: Nick Hall-Wood

Audio House: Silent Joe

Track Director: Tom Thorney

Producer: Maggi Blouin-Pearle

Engineer: Jason Dokersgoed

Online: Alter Ego

Executive Producer: Greg Edgars

Coordinator: Kendra Smith

Colorist: Trish Hagoriles

Colorist: Conor Fisher

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Larissa Santiago at 416-408-2300 x317 or lsantiago@brunico.com.