Q&A with Shelley Magnusson, ATA staff officer responsible for the Association’s media campaigns.
Why did the ATA change the campaign to reflect the new reality of COVID-19?
We realized that the existing campaign, which showed teachers and students in school settings, was no longer relevant given the closure of schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also wanted to honour the work that teachers and students were doing in figuring out how to make the new emergency distance learning work. And we had to do it very quickly.
What special considerations or precautions were made in the filming of the ad?
We made sure that the students we chose were old enough so that they could film themselves. We didn’t want to take the risk of having even a small film crew interact with young people. We also chose students who are experienced professional actors who had previous experience being on camera so that they would be comfortable acting with very little direction, filming themselves and uploading the file.
To shoot the part of ATA president Jason Schilling, we sent a very small film crew (two people) to ensure that Jason and the crew were able to maintain physical distancing to lower the risk to everyone involved. These constraints limited what we were able to do, but I am very proud of the new ad.
How did the concept come about?
As with all of our ads, it was a team effort. There were several conversations about what our message should be. Once that was in hand, then it was a lot of back and forth with the creative team at Tag Advertising until we had a script that everyone was happy with. It can be difficult to distill a message down to 30 seconds, which is why we trust the advice of our ad team.
I would like to thank Tag Advertising, and especially Todd Sloane, who donated all the work that went into the updated ad, including the art direction, writing, film crew, sound crew and production costs. It was an amazing gesture that goes to the heart of our longstanding relationship with Tag Advertising. I also would like to note that all of our media partners have donated significant TV and radio air time to the ATA. This is a direct result of the relationships we have built up over the years with the media. ❚