King of distortion Spike Jonze’s flick for the new Kenzo perfume has caused quite a stir over the past few days. Always an advocate for innovation Jonze this time proves that smelling nice not necessarily is equal to showing off your sexiest face – at least when noone is watching.
Having been secretly in love with Christopher Walken since childhood I was ecstatic when I saw his dance frenzy in the “Weapon of Choice”-video Jonze made for Fatboy Slim. The Kenzo World short is a brilliant sequel, keeping the theme of alone-dancing but changing the main character to a bored Margaret Qualley slipping out from a formal dinner to enjoy some jazzy moves on her own.
This is not the first time that Jonze turns his attention to people letting themselves go on screen. Jonze is fond of flirting with those old school Hollywood musicals where dream and reality merge, and through dance revealing a character´s essence of being. Hinting towards scenes like Fred Astaire´s legendary wall dance in ”Royal Wedding” Jonze cleverly uses the human body to manifest an emotion or experience, or in the recent case of Kenzo -a smell.
His group of random adults doing a syncronized dance in a cinema foyer to Fatboy Slim’s ”Praise You” is just hilarious and in Björk’s ”It’s Oh So Quiet” Jonze has her dancing in a sea of umbrellas, throwing imagined granates on the ground –much like Qualley does in ”Kenzo World”. The Kenzo ad transmits a perfect escape – I mean who wouldn´t want to roam around licking statues in an empty space designed for formal meetings?
With the Kenzo ad Jonze nudges on something rare in modern beauty commercial directing – he lets an outburst of feelings triumph the cult of attraction. And it works. Having Qualley go berserk wearing Kenzo World actually does spark the desire to experience the perfume irl, which is quite unusual for a modern day scent ad, wouldn’t you say? Compared to the new Chanel No 5 advert which in all its wonderful allure feels rather same old- same old – Kenzo World’s take on beauty gives room for a scent that is more than just a pretty face.