Happiness Matters



Starlight Children's Foundation has been offering emotional support and entertainment to sick kids for over 30 years. But in a crowded charity space full of big, timely issues (bushfire relief, cancer research etc) many people saw the service Starlight offers as lacking urgency and worthiness. 

At the same time, the children's charity space in particular had started to look indistinctive, with many operators using similar messaging and colour palettes, meaning prospective donors could be confused as to who to give their cash to.

We needed to find a way to dramatise the effect Starlight has on sick kids, whilst being 'unmistakably Starlight' in execution.



Identifying the emotional


When most people think back to their childhoods, they think of happy times. Summer days spent at the beach. Mum setting up finger-paints at the kitchen table. Water fights in the garden. Building forts out of blankets and castles out of sand. It’s a time of freedom and joy and not a care in the world. 

But sick kids remember things differently. Their days are spent in hospital, hooked up to monitors. They miss out on the finger-paints, the forts, the fun. Instead their childhood becomes about procedures, therapies, and medication.

And the truth of the matter is that fun and play are essential to a child's development. So, when illness and hospital take that away, Starlight is there helping sick kids feel happier, more confident and ready to tackle life's challenges.


We wanted to show what sick kids go through in a way that would get noticed and drive a real, visceral emotional response. So we told the story of a real patient - Henry - from his point of view; showing the onset of illness, the tests, the treatment, and only revealing that this was happening to a child midway through the spot.

We then contrasted the dark, distressing feel of diagnosis and treatment to the colourful, optimistic world of Captain Starlight and the Starlight Express Room to really highlight the importance of the work that Starlight does.

'Happiness Matters' came to life across TV, BVOD, Outdoor, Digital and Social.


'Happiness Matters' changed people's perception of the importance of the work the organisation does


said the spot showed them that happiness is essential to a sick child's wellbeing (13 points above category norm)


said they believe Starlight does essential work after viewing the spot (17 points above category norm)