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The Muppet Show gives its support to CanTeen


7 October 2005

The Muppet Show gives its support to CanTeen

The work of CanTeen, a New Zealand charity which supports young people age 13 to 24 living with cancer, impressed Walt Disney executives so much they allowed most of the Muppets cast to be used in this year’s CanTeen television advertisement.

The ad rerecords the orginal ‘Mahna Mahna’ song into ‘Bandanana’ and shows the Muppets wearing CanTeen bandannas. It is being aired to promote CanTeen’s National Bandanna Week, 10 - 16 October.

CanTeen spokesperson Leanne Ryburn says The Muppet Show is a perfect fit for Bandanna Week. “As well as the obvious adaptability of the ‘Mahna Mahna’ lyrics, the Muppets also really capture the essence of Bandanna Week and CanTeen.”

“CanTeen is about providing support and celebrating life and the Muppets share the same feel-good values,” she says.

Landing the rights to use the song and the characters was a major coup for advertising company Foote Cone & Belding (FCB), which is just one of a number of media companies that have donated their time and advertising space to CanTeen’s cause.

Representatives of FCB and film production company Curious went to Walt Disney in Los Angeles thinking they would get the rights to use three Muppets. The executive they met with loved the idea so much, they got the cast together the next day, got many others to donate their time and the ad was filmed a day later.

FCB Televison Producer Michelle Delaney says it is absolutely incredible that it was pulled off, and in such a short space of time. She says an ad of this calibre with the original muppeteers and voices would normally take a year to finalise, but this took just four months.

“CanTeen is about not giving up and young people living their dreams and the completion of this ad reflects that theme perfectly. We could easily have given up because it looked like we were never going to get approval. Then to get nearly every single Muppet and wearing the CanTeen bandannas – it is just absolutely amazing,” she said.

“It was a dream come true. These people in LA were giving up their time to help kids on the other side of the world,” said Michelle.

Bandanna Week is the major fundraising event for CanTeen – a national peer support network for young people age 13-24 living with the effects of cancer. As a non-profit charity CanTeen is reliant on public support so that it may continue to support, develop and empower those affected by cancer.

The money that is raised by CanTeen is used to fund patient support in hospitals, educational programmes and most importantly fun activities . CanTeen has just produced a website with comprehensive online information and interactive support as well as contributed to a vital cancer research project.

National Bandanna Week is 10-16 October, bandannas will be selling for $5 at schools, Foodstuffs’ supermarkets (New World, PAK’n SAVE, Write Price and Four Square) as well as BP, Burger King, Warehouse Stationery, Rebel Sport and Shanton.


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