Crying Northwestern kid returning to TV in new March Madness ad

first_imgThe most famous meme of March Madness 2017 — Crying Northwestern Kid — is back, and this time around, he has a big reason to smile.Twelve-year-old John Phillips became a viral sensation in 2017 following Northwestern’s loss to Gonzaga in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Two days earlier the Wildcats had beaten Vanderbilt in what was Northwestern’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. John Phillips’ mother said the idea was completely of his own doing and that the family had no desire to ever capitalize on his notoriety. John saw it as the perfect opportunity to turn something negative into a positive.“The opportunity to use this moment — me going viral — as a source of positivity for others, well, that’s the biggest benefit that could have come out of this. At first, it was very confusing but as it progressed, I’ve grown more and more comfortable with it as part of my identity.’’The 15-second ad will also feature “the crying piccolo player” from 2015 that rose to similar viral fame.TEARS OF JOY pic.twitter.com/JobhjzM4jg— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 27, 2016 MORE: Ranking the 68 best teams in the 2019 NCAA Tournament from Duke, downBut with 7:32 left in the Gonzaga game, with the Wildcats trailing and on the wrong side of a flagrant foul call, CBS cameras cut to images of a crying Phillips, screaming, “Oh my God.” The image was shown 13 more times, forever creating a meme and a #NorthwesternKid hashtag that have stood the test of time.100% serious. #NorthwesternKid is me at that age. Living/dying w every bucket. TV cut away to him 13 times on broadcast. Got a hug at end! pic.twitter.com/NLayAW2H27— Dave Noriega (@davenoriega) March 19, 2017Now 14, and brace-free, Phillips is turning his on-screen anguish into good deeds. According to The Chicago Tribune, Phillips will be the star of a new Pizza Hut March Madness commercial that plays on the theme of “the roller coaster of emotions synonymous with fans’ experiences.”The 15-second advertisement titled the “What-Just-Happened Wail” airs Thursday to coincide with the first round of the NCAA Tournament.Pizza Hut wanted to compensate Phillips for using his likeness, but rather than cash-in on his own fame, Phillips had other plans.“I am not interested in getting any more fame from this, believe me, but when the chance came to help others, that’s when I agreed to it and I’m honored to make a positive change out of this,’’ Phillips told The Tribune.Instead, Phillips — who is the son of Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips — will funnel the money to a pair of charities that Pizza Hut supports in “Harvest,” its national food donation initiative and “First Book,” a program that provides access to books for children in need.last_img

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