In 2011, WPVI in Philadelphia, created a promo using 3rd graders for its school closing announcements on the news. A remake of that promo pays homage to high school seniors who have had their world turned upside down due to the pandemic.
In the fall of 2011, WPVI, ABC’s Philadelphia O&O, created a promo for its school closing announcements on the news. It was an instant classic.
The promo, under the direction of Tim Fenstermacher, WPVI’s assistant director of creative services, featured third graders at an area elementary school (Plymouth Elementary in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) with snow flakes and snowman props in hand, singing No School Tomorrow.
The cuteness factor was off the charts.
According to Mike Monsell, the station’s VP of marketing, the promo was intended to air only during the winter of 2011 into 2012. But due to the feedback of viewers, WPVI played it for years.
“I love it when this spot airs…”
“I sing that song every morning when it snows…”
In 2019, when the 3rd graders were now in high school (Plymouth Whitemarsh High School), WPVI planned to do a shot-by-shot remake. Then the pandemic changed everything, and the production was canceled.
Not so fast, said the parents who petitioned Monsell to reconsider through a present message board.
“Please 6abc. Please try to make the commercial.”
“These seniors need this more than ever.”
After months of back and forth with parents, WPVI had enough content to make it work.
The concept of the remake would not be a promo for school closings, rather an homage to the seniors at Plymouth Whitemarsh and to all students who have had their world turned upside down due to the pandemic.
“And boy did it work,” says Monsell.
“The reaction from the parents has been nothing short of overwhelming. One parent wrote, ‘This is amazing and makes me want to cry’. Another wrote, ‘I did cry’.
Here’s a video of those Plymouth Whitemarsh seniors, their parents, teachers and administrators talking about how they’re coping with school life during COVID.
Click here to see the entire article.
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