SYRACUSE, N.Y. – More than four decades ago, Crouse Hospital introduced its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Today, it has grown to become the premier and highest level NICU in the region, treating more than 1,000 infants each year across 14 counties in New York State. To celebrate 40 years of intensive caring for the tiniest premature and critically ill newborns and their families, EMA and Crouse Hospital partnered to launch “Little Fighters.”
Little Fighters tells the stories behind the babies and families who spent time in the NICU and never forgot the people who helped get them home. The integrated marketing campaign is helping to raise awareness for the NICU and its clinicians, and to lay the groundwork for a fundraising campaign. It includes a mix of traditional media—print, radio and outdoor—and digital and social media.
“This theme resonated with us because, regardless of the outcome, NICU infants—the most clinically fragile of patients—are, in fact, all little fighters,” said Bob Allen, VP of communications and government affairs at Crouse.
Year one of the Little Fighters campaign features former Crouse preemies and critically ill patients who have grown to become healthy, thriving people. EMA created unscripted, emotional videos of former NICU patients and their family members. Like Ricci, who was born 15 weeks early and today now he sports sized 12 cleats. Or Zak, who at birth could barely breathe, but today can barely sit still. Or Nora, who spent the first days and weeks of her life in the NICU and today is part of the NICU nursing team.
EMA created a landing page to house the videos, encourage user-submitted stories, and provide a way for people to donate. In the past eight months, it has received more than 5,000 page views and raised a significant amount of donations.
“Telling a unique story is one of the best ways to get people to engage and connect. That’s why the entire crux of the Little Fighters campaign is the underlying stories from actual NICU patients and their family members. Their narratives are emotional, successful and engaging,” said EMA Senior Partner and Creative Director Kevin Tripodi.
Little Fighters will continue throughout 2016 in the 14-county region served by the Crouse NICU.