Insights in health & wellness branding


The Power of One

9 May 2017   |   Mitch Apley

A little over a year ago now, a few folks from our Hearts at Work committee pointed out that while we’ve always had Ronald McDonald House® (RMH) pop tab collection boxes around, we never really filled them up or brought any pop tabs in. The question came up about finding a way for us to increase participation in our agency while simultaneously creating a campaign RMH could use in their various channels.

The challenge we tried to overcome had to do with the seeming insignificance of each aluminum pop tab. How could we get people to spend a few extra seconds before recycling their soda can when the effort-to-benefit ratio for one tiny pop tab seemed a little high?

That drove us to talk about the Power of One. We memorialized and cherished the moment of pop tab removal with a teaser video designed to get people excited about the forthcoming campaign. We then made posters, stickers, and virtually filled a glass office with giant pop tabs over the course of a few weeks. We improved our collection containers so our employees could see their tabs adding up, and we strategically placed containers and signage to help make popping and contributing tabs an almost automatic behavior. These activities were timed to line up with our big summer philanthropy festival in order to generate the most awareness at a time when people were thinking about doing the most good.

Finally, we revealed a stunning animation produced by our own Dose Studios. This video is now playing on the RMH website and perfectly encapsulates how each pop tab has the power to combine with all of the other tabs to raise money to help parents stay close to their kids in hospitals at an RMH.

We’re extremely proud of the impact this campaign has had. In just the first 6 months, our pop tab collection increased by more than 600%! Our collection efforts remain strong, helping even more families stay at an RMH. We’re also happy to see our Power of One campaign being recognized by our industry, most recently at the Med Ad News Awards where we won the gold for the best philanthropic campaign. It goes to show how big change is possible when you start small, make it easy, and show people the way.

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About the Author

Mitch Apley is an award-winning filmmaker who now focuses on finding and telling compelling stories at the intersection of healthcare and innovation. He grew up in Nebraska, and enjoys traveling, college football, and golf no more than once a year.