Year-End Campaign Helps Bring Joy to Sick Kids in Hospitals


Starlight Children’s Foundation helps deliver happiness to seriously ill kids through 800 children’s hospitals and healthcare facilities in the US. The Foundation brings joy through their state-of-the-art programs like Starlight Virtual Reality, Starlight Hospital Wear, and Starlight Gaming to entertain, distract, and inspire hospitalized kids.  

Starlight partnered with Media Cause to help develop their year-end advertising strategy.

The Outcome

Through digital advertising and creative support, we raised $234,263 in revenue, allowing them to continue delivering happiness to seriously ill kids through gaming and entertainment.


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The Challenge

Like many nonprofit organizations that serve kids, Starlight depends heavily upon year-end giving for revenue to support its programs. We knew this year we may have challenges on Facebook as many organizations continued to adjust to new targeting capabilities and iOS14 updates. We also knew that Starlight was interested in exploring new creative concepts to refresh the look and feel of their ads.

The Strategy

We created an integrated paid media strategy across display, search, and paid social media targeting new donors in their ideal target demographic while retargeting at key moments.

We utilized a creative approach that leaned hard on the warm, fuzzy feels of allowing kids to be kids, experiencing the joy, wonder, and feeling of possibilities this season traditionally brings about.

The Implementation

Multi-Touchpoint Strategy

Starlight is a growing niche brand in a competitive space. We wanted to ensure sufficient market saturation via highly targeted ads to ensure that their target audience of parents and caregivers know what they do. Paid search has typically been a consistent driver of direct donations, and our paid social channels help to supplement the brand awareness goals of display. 

  • Display/Video: Ads placed programmatically around the web via MiQ partnership. Target based on relevant interests and behavior.
  • Paid Search: Google + Bing
  • Paid Social: Facebook + Instagram

Creative Directions

We developed two different messaging themes for the campaign: 

1. An approach that would focus on the direct impact; the more donations and dollars, the more kids Starlight Children’s Foundation can help foster a sense of unbridled joy, this holiday season and beyond.

2. An approach that would lean hard on the warm, fuzzy feels of allowing kids to be kids, experiencing the joy, wonder, and feeling of possibilities this season traditionally brings about.

Ultimately, we went with the first direction and incorporated a more “serious” graphic into the mix to test out which ones worked better.

Continuous Optimization

Throughout the campaign we monitored performance to determine which placements and ad creative are generating the greatest revenue and return on advertising spend. We shifted budgets into paid social audiences that were particularly responsive to our ads, and we reallocated budgets to best-performing keywords. 

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