‘Superhero Day’ video scores big for Dayton Children’s Hospital

Shot on a $15 budget, the video racked up tens of thousands of views and reactions by showcasing staff members and young patients alike as costumed crimefighters.

The everyday heroes at Dayton Children’s Hospital became superheroes for a day—and the camera caught it all.

A video costing $15—above staff salaries and already-purchased equipment—caught employees’ exploits, as well as the faces of delighted young patients, and it racked up tens of thousands of online views.

The kids got in on the costume fun, too, dressing up in Batman masks and Wonder Woman tiaras.

“Our kids are extra-special, because they are able to stay strong in the face of any illness that they can overcome, and they can always put a smile on our faces,” Kisandra Sanders, RN, says in the video.

Even the youngest patients get in on the fun. The video shows a sleeping baby, pacifier in mouth, with a purple cape and mask. Another lies in bed adorned with a Superman cape.

Low cost, high reward

The video was shot, directed and edited by in-house videographer Anthony Sileo. The only cost was $15 for the stirring, heroic music flowing throughout. Sileo spent about three hours shooting the video and roughly two workdays editing it.

“This was my first Superhero Day at Dayton Children’s Hospital and was by far my favorite project,” Sileo says. “The staff had such a great energy, and their genuine love for the kids made filming easy.”

It’s had tremendous reach. The video has 573 views on Dayton’s YouTube channel, but Stacy Porter, public managers manager at the hospital, says that between Facebook, YouTube and the hospital’s intranet, the video has been seen by more than 40,000 people, generating some 1,890 reactions—two to three times more than the hospital’s average video post.

Celebrating a special patient

The purpose of the video was to showcase a fun day and to have staff talk about the hospital’s real heroes, the kids.

It’s the fifth video in a yearly series, says Grace Jones, consumer brand manager at Dayton Children’s Hospital. The idea came from a child life specialist who wanted to honor a very special patient who spent a great deal of time at the hospital—Nevin, who died in 2012.

“Nevin loved superheroes,” Jones says. “He had endless costumes and toys, dressing up like Spider-Man, naming his room the Bat Cave and constantly channeling his inner superhero.”

Every year on or around Nevin’s birthday, Jan. 31, the hospital celebrates Superhero Day to honor all the superheroes—patients and staff—who walk the halls every day.

Capes and masks everywhere

Employees provide their own get-ups. Some buy Superman or Batman apparel; others get creative and make their costumes at home.

Kids staying in the hospital are invited to make capes and masks with help from child life specialists. The hospital’s NICU nurses also make mini-capes and masks for the tiniest patients.

“The nice thing about Superhero Day is you can easily participate by just wearing a superhero T-shirt, scrubs or even socks,” Jones says. “Staff from all areas and all levels of the organization participated.”

The superhero genre allows for stylistic filming and editing, something that doesn’t often apply to health care marketing. “It was exciting for me to be able to run with it,” videographer Sileo says.

The young patients love it. “The looks on kids’ faces when they are walking through our lobby and see Superman or Wonder Woman are priceless,” Jones says. “The kids who are in the hospital also feel really special when Spiderman or Batman comes and visits their room.”

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