We’re aware of the genius of Spike Jonze, and we absolutely love it. The man’s work is so diverse he’s directed Being John Malkovich, Bjork’s It’s Oh So Quiet music video and was the co-creator and executive producer of MTV’s Jackass and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We are, however, prepared to call people out when we need to. And we feel it’s the right time to point out that the world might be jumping the gun here when they celebrate Spike Jonze’s Kenzo commercial. Why? Because he has totally done the same thing 16 years ago for Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice! As a matter of fact, it’s not Jonze’s fault that the entire world is losing its mind over a recycled idea. When we say we’re calling someone out, it’s the audience.
When the people applaud Jonze right now for this commercial, it must be for one of two reasons: they either have never seen the Weapon of Choice video, or they’re just willing to call Spike Jonze a genius regardless of what he does. It isn’t about the commercial itself, which in fact is quite brilliant; it’s innovative, it’s unexpected, it’s beautifully shot and choreographed, but it has been done before by the same director. Had Weapon of Choice been directed by anyone else, we would have thought the Kenzo commercial is an homage to it.
There is the argument that although he has done this before, it can still be called original because it’s different from any other perfume commercial out there. And we understand that, but we don’t get why the celebration of this originality should be so intense, especially when the idea is blatantly recycled. That is, unless the world is just prepared to celebrate anything Jonze comes up with. It’s not just that the general atmosphere of the videos is similar; it is that the basic idea, choreography, colors, and some frames are exactly copied from the original!
In conclusion, do we think Spike Jonze did a brilliant perfume commercial? Yes, because he is a brilliant director. Do we think it’s worthy of all the rave about its originality? Not really, because as great as that video is, it’s been done before, by him, 16 years ago.
Fatboy Slim – Weapon of Choice Music Video