The campaign was launched to honor all students and educators of the class of 2020 as many standard celebrations have been canceled or modified due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The virtual celebration was officially launched on the Dr. Seuss Facebook page today.
Cena, a best-selling children's author himself, delivered the "commencement keynote" today. He posted a video featuring a reading of "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" that he did for the campaign. You can see that full video below.
Cena captioned the video with, "To #grads2020: Enjoy the victory of graduation. Do not forget all the things that brought you to this moment. To recognize your accomplishment I am sharing a reading from @DrSeuss #OhThePlacesYoullGo as part of a special #ohtheplaces2020 celebration."
To #grads2020: Enjoy the victory of graduation. Do not forget all the things that brought you to this moment. To recognize your accomplishment I am sharing a reading from @DrSeuss #OhThePlacesYoullGo as part of a special #ohtheplaces2020 celebration. https://t.co/5qV8H4SVEt pic.twitter.com/i7LYMHolLy— John Cena (@JohnCena) May 1, 2020
Below is the press release with full details sent to us today by Dr. Seuss Enterprises:
RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS AND DR. SEUSS ENTERPRISES ANNOUNCE NATIONWIDE OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO! VIRTUAL GRADUATION CELEBRATION HONORING THE STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS OF THE CLASS OF 2020 AND THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF ICONIC BOOK
SUPERSTAR ENTERTAINER JOHN CENA TO KICK OFF COMMENCEMENT CELEBRATION WITH ASTRONAUT SCOTT KELLY, READINGS AND REMARKS TO LAUNCH ON DR. SEUSS FACEBOOK PAGE TODAY
Additional activities during the month of May include graduation photo-sharing campaign;
participation from educators, first responders, authors, and illustrators;
a book donation to First Book; and LinkedIn activation with Seuss-inspired thought leaders
Merchandising program rolling out in time for graduation season
(April 30, 2020, New York, NY)—As announced by renowned astronaut Scott Kelly on NBC-TV's Today show, Random House Children's Books, together with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, launches their Oh, the Places You'll Go! Virtual Graduation Celebration (#ohtheplaces2020), recognizing the Class of 2020 in light of nationwide cancellations of graduation ceremonies due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Complete with readings, graduation photo-sharing, inspirational words of wisdom, and more—all inspired by Dr. Seuss's beloved book and perennial graduation gift, Oh, the Places You'll Go!—everyone anywhere can join in the festivities and salute 2020's graduates and celebrate the 30th anniversary of this iconic title.
While setting the record for the longest spaceflight by an American (340 days), astronaut Scott Kelly saw places that very few on Earth have, and he offers an inspirational perspective on our current situation and what this moment means for the class of 2020: "It is an honor to join the Oh, the Places You'll Go! campaign to recognize graduates across the country, who are beginning their journey of discovery and achievement," says Kelly.
John Cena, globally beloved WWE superstar, children's author, entertainer, and dedicated philanthropist, will kick off the virtual festivities on May 1 with a "commencement keynote" that includes a reading from Oh, the Places You'll Go! and his own words of wisdom for graduates of all ages. Fans can tune in on Cena's Twitter feed (@JohnCena) at noon EDT, and his reading will be available on Facebook, where additional readings and remarks will roll out throughout May. Participants will include some of our most honored educators and first responders, as well as celebrities, authors, and illustrators.
Post a photo to donate a book! Random House Children's Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises are calling for nationwide support of the Class of 2020 with a campaign encouraging people to post a photo in celebration of their 2020 graduate, or post their own graduation photo using #ohtheplaces2020, and tagging three friends to continue the chain. For the month of May, Random House Children's Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises will donate one book to First Book (up to 20,020!) for every in-feed post tagged with #ohtheplaces2020. First Book will distribute donations to classroom libraries in the fall in honor of the educators of the class of 2020 who would have been recognized at graduation ceremonies.
Collaborating with Penguin Random House Audio/Listening Library, the campaign will also feature inspirational quotes from the book on social media, read by audiobook narrator John Lithgow.
Coming this November, Random House Children's Books will release a new Oh, the Places You'll Go! Coloring Book for all ages, featuring designs and patterns based on the classic title and available for pre-order now.
Susan Brandt, President, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. says: "Oh, the Places You'll Go! has always been special for graduates given its inspirational message. We're proud that these words will still bring people together in celebration of graduates and educators of the class of 2020, albeit not physically. This year it is especially important for them to be reassured that they will overcome the 'Bang-ups and Hang-ups' of our current situation and push on to success."