You can dance if you want to, but only if it’s relevant to your campaign message…

Jogg Jeans, Diesel:

I don’t follow much fashion advertising, but this ad is an exception. Here, ladies and gentleman, is an ad made up of a dance sequence. Not just any dance sequence, but a dance based on popularised urban dance, stemming from various types of movement commonly categorised under the umbrella of hip-hop dance. I know. Extraordinary.


I jest; it’s the most over-used advertising/PR trick in the book for any number of brand categories ranging from cosmetics to technology and fashion products. But here’s the kicker. The dancing is actually relevant to the product! It is advertising Diesel ‘Jogg Jeans’, a range of jeans described on their website as “a cutting edge crossbreed between jeans and activewear…crafted in a unique fabric that weaves together the style of denim with the versatility of jersey.” From what I’ve seen of the jeans so far, this looks like a genuine product innovation and provides the starting point for a good campaign. The message being, that your movement is not restricted compared to traditional denim. You can jog, run, dance to Azalea Banks in an racy 18+ YouTube video (this is Diesel, naturally there is an x-rated version of the ad); whatever you fancy. The dance sequence clearly demonstrates the selling point of the product, is engaging to watch and very much fits within the brand identity. It is a model example of how to make an overly popularised and tired idea seem fresh and seamless.

(behind the scenes)

Vs Clinique’s dramatically different +:

We’ve reached the positivity apex of this post, and I think you know as well as I do that it’s about to take a sharp downward turn. If you don’t like criticism from mildly self-righteous young bloggers, then it might be best to stop here.

A professional dance troupe was assembled to promote the release of Clinique’s new dramatically different + moisturising lotion by, apparently, conveying the product qualities through the medium of dance. As the choreographer explains in the behind the scenes promo above, his challenge was to create “a street performance that takes inspiration from Clinique’s new dramatically different + moisturizing lotion.” Oh, ok then. That makes total sense. Excuse me while I just nip to the bathroom and do a rain dance inspired by my favourite toothpaste brand!  Perhaps I’m being too hard on Clinique? It’s not an easy life working as a freelance dancer in today’s tough economy and it is very charitable of Clinique to provide an income for these hard-working dancers after all.

In all seriousness, my criticism may be generalised and I acknowledge that it is easy to criticise this type of event, but it is important. If lots of beauty brands hold very similar PR/launch events, how can they expect to differentiate themselves? The real issue, is what was it about the performance put on by the Clinique dancers that reflected and identified the Clinique brand? I would argue very little. If it could have been any beauty brand putting on that performance, then what was the point?  To make as much noise as possible? What I object to, is the knee-jerk reaction of doing whatever is ‘in’ without any thought to whether it is relevant. Clinique has a strong history and brand identity. It’s formed on the idea that “great skin can be created;” all their products are allergy-tested and fragrance free and custom fit for every skin-type.  All this could have inspired a relevant creative idea behind the campaign, but there simply wasn’t one. Take Nivea’s ‘dare to dip’ campaign earlier this year. I think the campaign was off-target in some ways, but it was at least differentiated. It had an underlying creative strategy and that showed.

It’s great if you have a well-known brand and you’re not fighting to get your name heard amongst the noise, but why stop there? Don’t be lazy; make people remember what it was they loved about your brand in the beginning.

(event round-up)

p.s.  kudos to anyone who spots all the puns in the post. Somewhat miserable specimens, but puns nonetheless!


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