Watch this: Spike Jonze’s ground-breaking Kenzo ad
Do you have a spare three minutes? Well, you might want to make the time to see this. It’s a perfume advert from Japanese brand Kenzo, but it’s seriously unlike any you’ve seen before – about as polar opposite to the breathy, randy escapism that we’re so often expected to put up with – a delirious Natalie Portman, high on Chanel, getting jiggy in that helicopter; a pouting Charlize Theron ascending a Dior silk rope wrapped erotically around those leggy legs. It’s become a massive joke in the Muddy house when a perfume ad comes on telly because they’re so horrific. Even my teenage son, who enjoys the ads from a, shall we say, anthropological point of view, puts on his ‘perfume voice’ and competes for the best mock voiceover.
Well, this advert has temporarily put the lid back on the Muddy sarcasm box. Directed by the brilliant Spike Jonze and choreographed by Ryan Heffington who worked on Sia’s Chandelier, it’s a breath of fresh air (with aromatic low notes of sandlewood and jasmine naturally). I won’t spoil it for you but the basic story is that a young socialite (Margaret Qualley, The Leftovers) escapes the stale atmosphere of a gala and ends up the hallways of the empty building. Cue music to the tune of Mutant Brain by Jonze’s brother Sam Spiegel and Ape Drums and the kind of berserk dancing I last saw performed by Mr Muddy in the early hours of his birthday party.
Here, watch it and as ever let me know what you think. Will it make you try the perfume next time you’re walking by the Kenzo counter? I think I shall – the millions poured into this advert deserve at least an exploratively sniff.