A simple, unadorned classroom seat that millions upon millions of students sit in every day, every year, everywhere.
That iconic seat is the centerpiece of a new 45-second animated video created by Psyop and Ogilvy & Mather New York on behalf of Schools That Can, a national non-profit network of high-performing urban schools in under-served communities.
Helmed by Psyop Creative Director Gerald Ding, the spot depicts some of these aspirational occupations by piecing them together from playful illustrations of educational ephemera. Protractor-shaped spaceships zoom by in outer space and test tube clusters play the part of undersea coral.
"We wanted the school chair to illustrate how a kid's imagination combined with education could lead to whatever they dreamed of becoming," Ding said. "The 'seat' became a starting point for each scenario and we loved the iconic shape of the plastic school chair. We played with its negative space and colors to transition into a another world where common school objects become extraordinary when fused with a child's running imagination."
“I wanted to approach this piece in a way that would be fun for kids and adults,” continues Ding. “I hope it brings back youthful memories of dreaming without boundaries.”
“By emphasizing hope and celebrating accomplishment, we can deliver a positive message in an environment too often focused on failure,” said Schools That Can CEO Michael Druckman. “All children can receive a quality education and become all they aspire to.”
Leveraging the power and reach of social networks, the video will run on Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and on the Schools That Can website. The video will also be played for potential donors.
“We didn’t want to just detail how Schools That Can operates,” said copywriter Sean Lee, who led the creative along with art director Luke Hughett. “We wanted to illustrate why Schools That Can exists. And what its lasting impact can be.”
The goal is to boost awareness and support locally and abroad. However, the long-term goal, says Druckman, is to get people involved with their local schools and communities, changing the standards so that “quality education becomes the norm.”
Schools That Can is made up of over 100 district, charter, independent and faith-based schools serving over 35,000 children nationwide. For more information, visit www.schoolsthatcan.org. Or on Twitter at @schoolsthatcan
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather New York
Senior Art Director: Luke Hughett
Senior Copywriter: Sean Lee
Producer: Karen Goodman
Production Company: Psyop / Smuggler
Psyop Creative Director: Gerald Ding
Managing Director/Executive Director: Lucia Grillo
Producer: Adam Coffia
Animation: David Rasura
Art Director: Pete Sickbert-Bennett
Editorial: Eyepatch Productions
Mix: Eyepatch Productions
Producer: Jeff Williams
Engineer: Ken Meyer
Casting Director: Pamela Fahey
Performer: Rocketship Park, courtesy of Serious Business Records via The Orchard