Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Company Bio

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation began as a grassroots movement to spread awareness and develop a cure for spinal cord injuries, as well as reverse the stigma surrounding such injuries.  Starting in 1995, Christopher Reeve and the APA (American Paralysis Association) teamed up to establish this foundation to advance research for spinal cord injuries, and help improve the quality of life for those who have become paralyzed, and provide resources to their friends and families. 


  • Industry: Non-profit
  • Location: Short Hills, NJ


The Ask

The 2020 campaigns were centered around the theme “See Us,” which included authentic stories of caregivers, friends, and family of people living with paralysis. ESM was tasked to promote this message in a media campaign to create awareness and educate the public about spinal cord injuries and the work that the Chris & Dana Reeve Foundation is doing to provide resources to those impacted by paralysis and related injuries. 

The Challenge

The main challenges the Chris & Dana Reeve Foundation had was increasing customer recognition with their brand, getting users to their website, and educating the general public about the foundation and their mission. Hand in hand with this, the foundation wanted more people to understand the impact of spinal cord injuries and the resources they have available to share. With this in mind, we chose to activate on Facebook and Instagram, to increase brand awareness, but also because it is a great platform for education-based content, call to actions and driving site traffic, and encouraging users to have conversations and engage with the content. 

Why it Worked

The Approach

Our approach to this awareness campaign included: 

  • Using video and static images to share the stories of caregivers, friends, and family members of people with paralysis
  • Geo-targeting a priority list of hospitals and medical centers specializing in spinal cord treatments
  • Layering interest targeting to reach users who have shown an interest in related topics, such as wheelchair racing, paralympic sports/games, and United Spinal Association, among others. 
  • Implementing employment targeting to reach caregivers or those working with disabled patients. 

The Solution

We activated this plan on Facebook and Instagram, running four different campaigns intended to generate awareness and to move people down through the funnel:

  • Reach: optimized to reach a high volume of users
  • Post Engagement: encouraging people to engage with the ads and the Foundation’s Facebook page
  • Video views: optimized for the most plays of video ads
  • Traffic: drive users to the Foundation’s site to learn more about their work


Campaign Results

The “See Us” Social Media campaigns shared stories of family, friends and caregivers beyond the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation community. Consequently, we reached over 2 million users, raising awareness for the foundation and those living with paralysis, while continuing to educate users who visited the website, and encouraging audiences to engage and share these inspiring stories on their own social media pages.




Video Plays at 100%


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