Remember that lipdub video Shawnee Mission East students produced this fall? And how it got tens of thousands of views from NEJC residents and alums across the country? That was already a big audience.
But tonight, the number of people who saw a part of that video increased exponentially.
Chevrolet debuted an heartstring-tugging new ad during NBC’s broadcast of the Sochi Winter Games opening ceremony just before Team USA made its appearance on the track and featured three short clips from the Lancers’ lipdub video. The ad, entitled “The New,” features emotional scenes from YouTube, with a voiceover track comparing old ways with the changing face of society. (The ad, as Forbes’s Dale Buss points out, includes a clear jab at the host country’s anti-homosexual policies.)
When the actor doing the voice over begins a line comparing “the old community” to “the new community,” the video cuts to shots of SM East students Naomi Gorelick, Morgan Twibell and Jack Stevens from the lipdub. Here it is — you’ll start to see Columbia blue around :30:
SM East assistant principal Britt Haney was responsible for most of the negotiations that led to the school’s debut before what will almost certainly be one of the largest television audiences of the year. He said Chevrolet representatives contacted the school the week after Thanksgiving after having come across the lipdub on YouTube.
“They never told us what the theme was going to be,” he said. “We just new they were looking for young people doing fun things.”
Haney said the students and administration were a bit dubious of the inquiry when it first came in.”
“The weird thing is, in the world of Internet scams and hoaxes, we weren’t really sure what to make of it,” Haney said. “We thought, we’ll just see where this goes. But we weren’t jumping up and down or anything.”
But after the ad producers called the school just before winter break, Haney knew it was real. The featured students had to swear to secrecy — a tough task for teenagers that Haney said they handled honorably.
“The interesting thing about it is that Naomi wasn’t originally scheduled to be in the video,” Haney said. “She just happened to be at rehearsal one day when we needed someone to fill in, and she jumped in to help out.”
Tonight, Gorelick and the rest of the SM East community made their national television debut. Take a bow, Lancers.
So. Freaking. Cool.