Archive for Wednesday, February 27, 2002

BES students complete their own bologna commercial for national contest

February 27, 2002

Early Wednesday afternoon, students started filing in to the open room, some wearing red shirts, others wearing white shirts.

After 15 minutes of moving and shuffling around, the students had formed a red and white rectangle. Soon 250 voices singing, "Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener ...," could be heard echoing down the halls of the school.

The Baldwin Elementary School filmed its own Oscar Mayer commercial last week in hopes of winning $10,000 and a visit from the Wiener Mobile.

"The kids did an awesome job," BES music teacher Jocelyn Leonard said. "That's not easy to do."

Kraft Foods is sponsoring the Oscar Mayer Talent Search School House Jam contest. Leonard said elementary schools, grades kindergarten through fifth, from across the country can enter videos of their commercials that incorporate the company's signature Wiener Jingle or the Bologna Song.

"They're picking one winner from each state and one from Washington D.C.," she said. "Each winner gets $10,000 for the music department and a visit from the Wiener Mobile.

"Then one out of the 51 finalists get to make a nationally-televised commercial," she said.

The videos, which must be less than three minutes long, are professionally judged, she said, and are judged based on originality and creativity, overall performance and suitability for a commercial.

The winners will be announced in June.

Leonard said most of the students had never seen the commercials or heard the songs before, so they started learning the songs in music class three weeks before the taping.

"We'd warm up to them," she said. "We taught it to them from scratch."

But she said their parents obviously remembered the commercials.

"They loved it," she said. "More parents came up to me and said they're all singing the songs."

On the day of the taping, the BES students that participated in the filming of their commercial formed the red and white Oscar Mayer logo.

The students started their commercial singing and humming the Wiener Jingle with a little help from Uncle Sam waving an American flag.

They finished the commercial by singing the Bologna Song and clapping and playing Oscar Mayer Lunchable box tambourines.

It took a few run throughs before the final taping of the commercial, but the students finished it in about 50 minutes.

"It was an undertaking," Leonard said. "That's for sure."

She said the finished product was a result of the entire school's efforts.

"I thought the whole school became involved," she said. "Everybody really pitched in to make it a good recording session."

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