'Children Should Be Seen and Heard' in a poignant ad industry-backed campaign

1 March 2023

Creative Agency: Zenith

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"Isolation is more detrimental to our children than illness."

MissingSchool, Cocogun, Scoundrel, Rumble, UnLtd and Zenith have teamed up with their latest campaign 'Don’t you forget about me', to reconnect seriously sick kids with school.

The integrated campaign features a rousing children’s chorus covering the '80s hit Don't You (Forget About Me) by the Scottish rock band Simple Minds.

The ad shows sick children interacting with their peers and taking part in the North Rocks Public School children’s choir through the use of assistive telepresence robots, in a poignant reminder of the importance of connection and interaction - even when children aren’t physically present at school.

The campaign, which will run across TV, OOH and digital, signals the launch of MissingSchool’s revolutionary Seen&Heard initiative, starting with a one-year nationwide pilot program, aiming to scale to all schools by 2025.

The Seen&Heard initiative will help schools adopt ‘teach once’ telepresence technology including implementing school robots, training teachers, and supporting vulnerable students and their parents/carers in real time. Educational animations will be produced for peers and siblings of sick children.

Seen&Heard will also join forces with children’s illness groups and health professionals to assist schools and families with critical illness information designed in a way to support the student’s learning journey and social-emotional wellbeing.

Megan Gilmour, MissingSchool founder and CEO said: “School is a right for every child, yet up to a third or 1.2 million of our nation’s children with a complex medical or mental health condition can face school isolation. Beyond the everyday trauma of their health crisis, they feel forgotten and isolated, through no fault of their own. 

“The Seen&Heard pilot, spearheaded by the integrated Don’t you forget about me campaign, will assist schools and families in reconnecting kids stuck at home in a health crisis. The only cure for absence is presence, through telepresence technology and a dedicated support service.”

Chiquita King, Cocogun managing director said: “This campaign was informed by a simple truth - isolation is more detrimental to our children than illness. 

“Don’t you forget about me is a powerful cry for help and a sobering reminder that it is easy to make children feel seen and heard and therefore included. This campaign has been a project governed by passion, commitment and resilience. Our jobs are the best in the world - working with awesome humans creating work that contributes to making a difference.”

Louise Pay, UnLtd account director, said: “Cocogun’s creative was agreed just before Covid restrictions took hold. Trying to shoot a film involving sick kids in hospital, school and a school choir was a real trifecta of impossibility! 

“An unwavering belief in the cause drove everyone to bring this to life, despite the multitude of hurdles.

"UnLtd approached Scoundrel because Executive Producer Adrian had seen the positive impact of the MissingSchool program on a seriously sick child in his daughter’s class. So many good people collaborated to shine a necessary light on these often forgotten kids, and drive positive change for them.” 

Director James Dive said: “Telepresence in Australian schools is a bittersweet conversation.

“We know the technology makes a huge difference to kids’ wellbeing, yet so few have access to it. This bittersweet equation became the basis of the film. There is hope, but equally this underlying void.”

Megan Kay, managing director at Zenith, said: “Zenith is proud to partner with MissingSchool. We are confident that our support will benefit so many sick kids in such an impactful way.” 

This campaign is supported with pro bono media from Nine, Seven, Paramount, SBS, Domain, ARN, ATN, Tonic Media Network, Gumtree, Broadsheet, News, ACM, QMS and JCD.



Creative agency: Cocogun

Creative Partner – Ant Melder

Art Director – Lauren Maneschi

Copywriter – Lewis Clarke

Managing Director – Chiquita King

Group Business Director – Emily Hahn

Head of Design – Chris Clausen

Designer – Rachel Tse

Production company: Scoundrel

Director – James Dive

Executive Producer – Adrian Shapiro

Executive Producer - Kate Gooden 

Producers – Charlie Taylor & Holly Winter

DOP – Christopher Miles

1st AD – Naomi Enfield

Post house: The Editors

Head of Production – Liv Reddy

Editor – Lily Davis

Colourist – Fergus Rotherham

Flame – Stu Cadzow

Sound production: Rumble Studios

Composer – Jeremy Richmond

Music & Sound EP – Michael Gie

Music producer – Adam Moses

Sound Designer – Cam Milne & Tane

Social Impact Partner: UnLtd

CEO - Chris Freel

Strategic Advisor - Paul Everson

Director of Partnerships - Jade Harley 

Account Director - Louise Pay

Media Agency: Zenith

Managing Director - Megan Kay

Media Strategist - Ruby Muller

Account Executive - Gem Harriss

Website Development: G Squared

Strategy - George Photios

Digital Production - George Pappas

Build - Thien Nguyen

Digital and Social Media: Half Dome 

Client Solutions Manager - Floriana Deleo

Activation Executive - Elyse Taylor 

PR Agency: Pure Public Relations

CEO - Phoebe Netto

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