There are some things about this that interest me and some things that just piss me off. Satchi & Statchi created “Dance”, a spot for T-Mobile UK where 350 dancers spontaneously took over Liverpool Street Station in London to the joy and glee of all involved. The interesting part is that the spot, filmed entirely with hidden cameras, was shot on January 15th and aired on the 17th, giving it a bit of vitality and life in the spirit of the spot itself.
Here’s the full version that aired in the UK today. It’s being followed up by a 60 second version airing over the coming weeks.
The spot is totally fun and the idea is great. The problem is just that none of the ideas in it were Satchi & Satchi’s. Everything in this ad has been done before, with greater authenticity and in the spirit of actually creating joy in people’s lives – not commodifying a version of joy to try to try and sell a product. Flash mobbing isn’t anything new; Improv Everywhere has been doing this exact thing, on a fairly high-level on the publicity scale, for a while now. And they do it simply for the thrill of causing shit. The whole “joy of dance makes us all the same” bit has also been done before. Just ask “Where The Hell Is Matt?” hero Dancing Matt and his sponsors, Stride Gum, and their 12 million YouTube views.
Hot off the heels of last week’s appalling news that the GAP (the muthafucking GAP, ugh…) had opened pop-up store in NYC in collaboration with Pantone (read: the Pantone coolness trend is near an end when a dinosaur like GAP finally figures out it’s cool), “Dance”, while a good advertisement, is still just a hollow replication of other people’s ideas, appropriated by big companies and agencies to sell big products and not giving big credit to any of the people that were doing it before them.