Seriously sick children lead MissingSchool’s poignant new ad campaign via Cocogun, Scoundrel, Rumble, UnLtd and Zenith


MissingSchool, Cocogun, Scoundrel, Rumble, UnLtd and Zenith have launched ‘Don’t you forget about me’, a rallying cry to reconnect seriously sick kids with school.


The integrated campaign features a rousing children’s chorus covering the iconic 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.

Says Megan Gilmour, founder and CEO, MissingSchool: “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.”

On the strategy behind the campaign, Chiquita King, Cocogun managing director, says: “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, account director, UnLtd says the project was a great example of the industry coming together: “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 was struck by the poignant conundrum at the heart of the challenge: “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.”

Says Megan Kay, managing director at Zenith: “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 generously supported with pro bono media from Nine, Seven, Paramount, SBS, Domain, ARN, ATN, Tonic Media Network, Gumtree, Broadsheet, News, ACM, QMS and JCD.

Seriously sick children lead MissingSchool’s poignant new ad campaign via Cocogun, Scoundrel, Rumble, UnLtd and Zenith

Creative agency: Cocogun
Creative Partner – Ant Melder
Art Director – Lauren Maneschi
Copywriter – Lewis Clarke
Copywriter – Elena Macdonald
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 Lowrey

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

With special thanks to the talented kids and teachers at North Rocks Public School.