Children's National HospitalLight Up Dr. Bear

IoT Marketing Case Study

Children's Hospital Foundation Internet-Of-Things Bears for Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation Fundraiser

“Show them you care. Light up Dr. Bear.”

Dr. Bear, the National Children’s Medical Center mascot, has always comforted young patients. Now his bright, endearing presence raises spirits and funds across the Washington, DC, metro area for the Children’s Hospital Foundation (CHF)—with creative help from Goodbeast and friends.

In 2018, Goodbeast joined forces with SmithGifford and partners to give CHF’s annual holiday season fundraiser a new spark. In this crowded fundraising season, we worked to make donating fun as well as “feel-good.” Holiday lights inspired the interactive #lightupdrbear campaign to make giving even more rewarding for donors, patients and their families, hospital staff, and the community at large.

Tech ingenuity and teamwork created enchanting beacons of hope—and triple-boosted donations to the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Dr. Bear’s glow-up

The plan: Station hundreds of glowing, toddler-sized bears and donation signage in prominent locations with lots of foot traffic. Enable passers-by to donate via text (text-to-give). Then make Dr. Bear’s inner light blink instantly with each donation. It was an ambitious, irresistible opportunity to connect CHF donors and beneficiaries everywhere in a moment of hope and delight.

Photoshoot of Custom Internet-Of-Things Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation for Children's Hospital Fundraiser
Soldering Custom Printed Board From Internet-Of-Things Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation for Children's Hospital Fundraiser
LED Lights Blinking in Clamp From Internet-Of-Things Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation for Children's Hospital Fundraiser

Goodbeast built the bears’ electrical system and created custom Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices for their deployment. We also used the Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT Core to bring the bears “automagically” to life in shopping centers, festivals, Christmas markets, ice rinks, the I Heart Radio Jingle Ball, and more. Best of all, the bears placed inside Children’s National hospitals lit up the hearts of patients and their families with every donation.

Circuit Diagram From Internet-Of-Things Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation for Children's Hospital Fundraiser
“It’s a really amazing thing for families like ours who spend so much time here to see the bears light up and know people are out there caring and supporting us.”
—Tierra, mother of a patient in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
—Tierra, mother of a patient in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
—DeAnn Marshall, MHA, president of Children’s National Hospital Foundation
“You can see the delight on the children’s faces every time a bear lights up or when they hug a bear in the hospital. The experience brightens everyone’s day.”
—DeAnn Marshall, MHA, president of Children’s National Hospital Foundation
Child and Therapist With Internet-Of-Things Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation for Children's Hospital Fundraiser
Children's Hospital Foundation Internet-Of-Things Bears for Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation Fundraiser

Debut numbers

270
bears placed in and around DC
124 %
more new donors
45 %
increase in gift count
500 %
donation-site traffic increase
Children's Hospital Foundation Internet-Of-Things Bears for Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation Fundraiser
Children's Hospital Foundation Internet-Of-Things Bears for Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation Fundraiser

Shine on

For the 2019 holiday campaign, sponsored by Amazon, we made the bears brighter, sturdier, easier to maintain, and more flexible for different environments.

In the first year, using 5-volt lights and COTS routers did put limits on the bears’ brightness and location reach. In 2019, we were able to make Dr. Bear twice as bright with higher-density LEDs and reached a more extensive area thanks to a ruggedized m2m WAN.

New DMX weatherproof LED lighting tubes made Dr. Bear four times brighter, with a single-board microcontroller running custom firmware that synchronizes with AWS IoT Core. And ruggedized industrial-grade routers enabled a machine-to-machine WAN that kept Dr. Bear bright 24/7. Three hundred bears appeared in prominent locations like CityCenter, The Wharf in DC, Bethesda Row, Pike & Rose in Rockville, Reston Town Center, Pentagon Row in Virginia, and of course, Children’s National hospitals.

Truck Hauling  Fabricated Bears as Part of an Internet-Of-Things Custom Lighting Custom Software Public Installation for Children's Hospital Foundation Fundraiser

Services provided

  • Internet-of-Things marketing
  • Internet-of-Things development
  • Experiential marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • SMS marketing
  • Custom application development
Children's Hospital Foundation Internet-Of-Things Bears for Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation Fundraiser
Children's Hospital Foundation Internet-Of-Things Bears for Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation Fundraiser
Children's Hospital Foundation Internet-Of-Things Bears for Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation Fundraiser
Children's Hospital Foundation Internet-Of-Things Bears for Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation Fundraiser
Children's Hospital Foundation Internet-Of-Things Bears for Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation Fundraiser
Children's Hospital Foundation Internet-Of-Things Bears for Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation Fundraiser
Fabricated Bears as Part of an Internet-Of-Things Custom Lighting Custom Software Public Installation for Children's Hospital Foundation Fundraiser
Fabricated Bears at Night Part of an Internet-Of-Things Custom Lighting Custom Software Public Installation for Children's Hospital Foundation Fundraiser
Bears BTS 2
Custom Printed Boards Part of an Internet-Of-Things Custom Lighting Custom Software Public Installation for Children's Hospital Foundation Fundraiser
Custom Printed Board as Part of an Internet-Of-Things Custom Lighting Custom Software Public Installation for Children's Hospital Foundation Fundraiser
Custom Printed Board as Part of an Internet-Of-Things Custom Lighting Custom Software Public Installation for Children's Hospital Foundation Fundraiser
Soldering an Internet-Of-Things Custom Lighting Custom Software Public Installation
Fabricated Bears as Part of an Internet-Of-Things Custom Lighting Custom Software Public Installation for Children's Hospital Foundation Fundraiser
Industrial Wifi Routers for Machine-To-Machine (m2m) Network as Part of an Internet-Of-Things Custom Lighting Custom Software Public Installation
Custom Printed Board From Internet-Of-Things Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation for Children's Hospital Fundraiser
Prototype Orb From From Internet-Of-Things Custom Software & Lighting Public Installation for Children's Hospital Fundraiser

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