Ad teaches `stay in school’

Government teams with basketballersand AST Computer for cinema PSAThe federal government is continuing with the strategy it established two years ago of using Cineplex Odeon movie screens to reach youths with the message that they should stay in school.Now, the government...

Government teams with basketballers

and AST Computer for cinema PSA

The federal government is continuing with the strategy it established two years ago of using Cineplex Odeon movie screens to reach youths with the message that they should stay in school.

Now, the government is extending the program further with the help of private sector partners.

They are the two Canadian entries into the National Basketball Association, the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors, as well as AST Computer.

The focus of the program, which includes extensive collateral support material, visits to schools by team representatives and a promotion involving ast, is an arresting 90-second commercial that opens on Cineplex screens this month.

Created jointly by Toronto-based Gingko Integrated Marketing Communications and Montreal’s Groupe Everest, the commercial takes a slightly mocking tone by appearing as though it is about to sell teens on various commercial products.

The spot opens in a high school gymnasium where a group of boys are playing basketball. The commercial is suggestive of sports shoes advertisements.

It cuts to a cafeteria with another group of students in typical nutrition promotion footage, followed by young girls in mock-fashion commercial poses.

The commercial ends with the message that freedom is about choice, and that without a proper education, choice becomes limited.

Even so, when this message is expressed, the disbelieving voice of a young girl is heard to say, ‘Yeah, right.’

‘You can’t change behavior,’ says Gingko President Perry Miele. ‘You have to change attitude first, and then behavior will follow.’

Miele says research into the teen market shows overwhelmingly that kids want straight talk.

‘They say, `Give us honest information and we’ll make our own choices,’ ‘ he says.

Director of the commercial was Eric Yealland, the mid-20s director who also directed a Dentyne commercial that played in Cineplex theatres.

Tom Mayenknecht, vice-president of communications and public relations for the Grizzlies, says both nba franchises are committed to supporting existing programs such as the Stay In School initiative.

In fact, the nba has been strongly behind a similar program in the u.s. since 1989.

‘The demographics of the nba and the Stay In School program provide a perfect fit,’ says Mayenknecht, pointing out that basketball has a wide appeal among teens, especially within inner city youth, and the game of basketball draws participation from males and females.