50 Shades of Genius
By now you have seen the new short featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lil Buck in a fierce dance-off. It’s definitely a marketing masterpiece hitting all of the right chords in the symphony of neuro-branding. It’s different, it’s visual, it’s intense, it’s viral. It’s art in the most pure form of expression. To us there was one more important element – it was cross-cultural and unifying.
We are living in divisive times. Despite globalization the East and the West are growing further apart. United States and Russia have been reading from the Cold War textbooks for over a year. Ever since the terror attack at Charlie Hebdo in Paris, the voices of nationalists across Europe are growing stronger. And with the election year right here at home not far ahead we are guaranteed to be surrounded by messaging that will be pinning us all against each other. It’s easy to exploit cultural, social and economic differences. People prefer to be sheltered by the comfort of the familiar and predictable. There is a certain sense of danger that comes with stepping into unchartered territory.
Now take a second look at the Rag & bone Fall campaign video. That passion, intensity and a sense of danger you are experiencing are enhanced by the vast cultural differences between a Memphis-born, LA-bred 26-year old Mr. Riley and the Riga-born, Leningrad-bred 67-years old Mr. Baryshnikov. The contrast is enchanting, yet at the same time you can’t help but see that they have just as many things bonding them. Culturally diverse could, and should be, culturally rich. Just take a look at Kanye West, Rihanna and Sir Paul McCartney coming together.
The differences add shades, texture and dimension. Together they give us a richer experience. That’s why we love what we do.
Speaking of us, here is what some of our team members had to say about the actual ad that started the conversation:
Gabriel – Account Supervisor: Fashion as with life, art and dance converge in this new multicultural ecosystem that we live in. Disciplines and styles influence each other all the time and create something new. What’s old is new again and vice versa. It’s a compelling presentation of style by Rag & Bone.
Matthew – Account Executive: The struggle depicted in the chess game is relatable to the tough decisions young people face every day when deciding what to wear: should it be fashionable, or weather appropriate? Well, Rag & Bone is here to show us that we no longer have to choose one or the other.
Christina – Office Manager: By weaving together contrasting styles, Rag & Bone has managed to bring classic and urban sensibilities together in a very unique and unexpected way. The result of this stylistic mash-up is a beautiful work of art that perfectly embodies their brand and esthetic. I think they were very successful in creating an ad that is not only evocative, but also culturally relevant.
Samantha – Project Manager: I like this ad a lot. It shows that two people can seem to have nothing in common but have similar taste and cultural connections through music and style.
Jasy – Assistant Media Planner: I see it as a unity through art and music, showing how men (young and old) from different ethnic groups are able to wear the same collection.
Nick – Media Analyst: I think they did a good job selecting a young relevant artist and paired him with a someone that is seen as more traditional.
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