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CREATIVE STRATEGY: Peugeot dances with the school of cool

Isn't it ironic that the word "cool" is cool again? For a long time, it seemed that its fashionability had gone the way of velvet jackets, skinny jeans and long hair on men. Well, after flirting with naffness, they're all back.

Peugeot ad: Marquese Scott aka Nonstop stars in video promoting 208 model

Peugeot ad: Marquese Scott aka Nonstop stars in video promoting 208 model

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But how, when and where should advertisers be cool? Of course, there is a book/website called Coolbrands that claims to know the hip from the not. It all depends on whether you trust the judgement of their panel of style-leaders and opinion-formers.

A better barometer might be that great live, continuing research tool, better known as the internet.

Take, for example, Peugeot’s ‘Let Your Body Drive’ campaign. While the phrase itself is certainly obscure – part of its Gallic charm? – the essence of the concept is demonstrated in this film: 

Alone, the title of the piece crows its credentials to the cognoscenti of cool: "Nonstop to Rudimental ft. John Newman".

Still with us?  Well, never mind; basically we have a young man who appears to possess no bones, dancing to the Rudimental track ‘Feel the love’ in a multi-storey car park that’s empty, apart from a stationary Peugeot 208.

Is that it? Yup. According to Peugeot’s marketing blurb, the dancer (Marquese Scott, a.k.a. ‘Nonstop’ of REMOTEKONTROL) represents the ergonomics of the all-new 208.

As post-rationalisations go, I've heard worse. I suppose the marketing director couldn't bring himself to say: "Look, it’s just cool, OK? People have always loved street dancing and it's in right now. We’re as good a brand as any to ride that wave." 

It may not be an idea so much as a PR/experiential theme. And while impressive, the dance moves are not wholly original. But in the world of shifting metal, Peugeot's effort stands out. Cool.

Simon S Kershaw is a creative consultant and a former creative director at Craik Jones

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