Tim McGraw & Vanderbilt: Give to the Next Breath

As Vanderbilt’s Childrens Hospital neared completion of its four-story, $100 million expansion project, the hospital’s development team asked us to create a series of TV commercials promoting a fundraising campaign they were calling “Give To The Next Breath.” Our job was to establish an emotional connection, in 60 seconds, that would motivate viewers to join the campaign.

  • Client: Vanderbilt Medical Center
  • Agency: Stonecastle
  • Type: Healthcare
  • Deliverable: TV Campaign
  • Services: Creative Strategy, Video Production, Scriptwriting

The Project

The Project


Working closely with Bohan, we inserted ourselves into their creative process and began casting stories of real St. Thomas patients and employees who had overcome their own “impossible” odds of survival. Bohan’s vision was to film each :30 TV spot in a documentary-style format, featuring real, unscripted interviews. The magic trick for us was to capture spontaneous moments while also maintaining the highest commercial production standards.


Stonecastle filmed more than a dozen TV spots for the campaign, including this one we called “Careful What You Wish For.” Featuring the father of quadruplets who nearly lost his wife during childbirth, it captures the joy and gratitude inside their (very full) home. Rather than script every shot of this commercial, our approach here was to embrace the chaos by stripping our crew to a bare minimum and simply following the tornado of activity.

The father’s interview, as with all the interviews in this campaign, was completely unscripted. By taking the extra time to let him tell his story in his own words, we were able to capture a much more authentic, believable performance. For more on our interview process and how we’re able to draw stories out of reluctant performers, read our blog post here.


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