Dance and branding : a turbulent relationship

A year ago, our agency was launched. For this occasion, we organized a talk about the integration of hip-hop dance in marketing strategies. For that purpose, we debated with guests Max De Boeck and Aurel Zola (choreographers, professional dancers and creators of the group “The Revolutionary”), Sasha Lacroix (community manager of Spirito) and Estelle Ebenga Hénot (choreographer and digital communication consultant at eeeh Studio).

Dance, and more precisely the hip-hop culture are more and more used in advertisements. We could take the examples of Nike or Adidas, to demonstrate the comfort and the support of their shoes, Evian which uses dance to show the effects of their water to stay young, or Apple to demonstrate the support and the quality of their Airpods. All of these examples demonstrate a real interest from brands in dance, because this art became a real communication tool, which is going off the beaten track.

What is the brands’ mission?

Creativity is at the center of the brands’ thinking, and dance seems to be a good means to achieve their aim. However, during campaigns, they don’t only look for a good dancer and a great quality video, they also desire to find a dancer capable of adapting to their needs and desires. The brand’s mission is therefore to find a dancer that fits their standards but also to target the one who can reach the aimed audience. Thus, brands must name a person in charge to bond the agency with the choreographer, in order to allow the brand to understand the artistic universe of the artist and to allow the artist to feel heard. All this will permit asking for the artist’s advice during the next marketing campaign. 

In the sense that the production must think: “Ok, today we have this pair of shoes, but you, as an artist, what idea can you bring in order to transmit a message through this pair which will reach this or that person” (Aurel Zola)

And what about the dancer’s mission?

With the effervescence of dance in advertisements, dancers must participate in this trend, and integrate it to their strategies. The artists must accept that this art represents a creative asset for brands and must become known. The dancers’ role is to present themselves to brands and argue the added value to the brand’s image, or more generally to the brand itself.

Partnership at all costs?

However, this must not be an option at all costs. When the dancer wants to collaborate with a brand, two choices are offered : the artist either accepts to set aside their own values when the brands’ ones don’t correspond, or decides to only work with brands that share values.

Is being accompanied an asset?

When an artist is supported by an agency like Get Down during a commercial collaboration, more advantages are offered. Firstly, being accompanied by a manager during a meeting gives a more professional look. Secondly, the agency will make sure that the contract established between the two parties is correct and pursued, as much on the legislative aspect, as on the budgetary one. The human aspect that a manager represents must not be overlooked as well, as this person represents a support and advice source.

Budgeting?

The agency will make sure that the dancer is paid for his performance, but also for all the work accomplished beforehand. Budgeting the dancer’s work is also giving credibility to it.  Thus, it is necessary to sequence the work in various stages like a first one with rehearsals for example (amount of hours, the rent of a room…). Budgeting and sequencing will allow to reach bigger budgets.

If you want to know more information and get in touch with our agency, please send a message, we would be thrilled to answer! Please click here

All of the comments in this article were pronounced by our guests during our launch’s talk.

Writen by Maxime Van Hecke, intern at Get Down

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