Shot by Spike Jonze
They are performimg The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns It’s not that dance has been absent from the wider culture in previous decades. From Fame, to Flashdance to Dirty Dancing, dance has always tapped into a desire to see sheer physical joy. Over the last few years So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars, Strictly Come Dancing and other shows have embedded dance in the mainstream on a continuous basis. A constant drip feed. Added to that there is the recent phenomenon of Darren Aronofsky’s The Black Swan. Essentially an indie movie, the-numbers.com has estimated that the film has grossed over $293 million worldwide. All of this has bubbled up in the ad world.
The Uniqlo ads captured that sense of everydayness, the bodily pleasure in synchronizing with a beat and the simplicity of the body in rhythm.
Dancing with Uniqlo
If dancers are messengers of the Gods as Martha Graham said, what messages should we take from this love affair with dance? As much as the current fascination with dance is about physical expression, it also plays into the public’s desire, post-financial bubble, for tangible things such as craft, skills and demonstration of effort. Commentators have written extensively on the psychology of the post-crisis consumer (including this recent post by the Strawberry Frog agency) and public scepticism of what is perceived as the fast, easy money of financial speculation has translated into many things, not least an increased valuing of the idea of hard work and effort. The reality dance shows play into this.
Dance, and dance TV, is about learning, practicing and executing, even with post-performance feedback. It’s dance as a desire for practical achievement and physical pleasure. While dance imagery has often been associated with special occasions, romance, or used as visual shorthand for elation, smart advertisers will explore the new psychological associations people are making with dance. Physical fun and creative effort.
Physical Fun And Creative Effort