Neon-hued ad campaign for Hong Kong Ballet’s 40th anniversary is pretty en pointe

A still from a promotional video marking the Hong Kong Ballet’s 40th anniversary. Screengrab via Vimeo.
A still from a promotional video marking the Hong Kong Ballet’s 40th anniversary. Screengrab via Vimeo.

The US-based ad agency Design Army has teamed up with the Hong Kong Ballet yet again, creating an ad campaign and eye-popping video celebrating the troupe’s 40th anniversary that — against all odds — makes ballet look pretty cool.

Using iconic Hong Kong scenes — the harborfront, a dim sum banquet hall, the Star Ferry — as a backdrop (as well as some kung fu sound effects for good measure), the campaign is designed to prove “the notion that classical ballet can be of-the-moment,” the ballet’s artistic director, Septime Webre, told Ad Week.

And you know what? It kinda does.

Also speaking to Ad Week, Design Army Chief Creative Office Pum Lefebure described her approach as emulating Hong Kong’s own “perfect mix of traditional and modern.”

“My goal was to make ballet relevant for the modern audience,” she said.

Note the lion is en pointe. Screengrab via Vimeo.
Note the lion is en pointe. Screengrab via Vimeo.

“I wanted to create something fresh and unexpected–a mix of elements that don’t normally go together. Basketball and ballet. Kung fu and ballet. Lion Dance and ballet.”

As Lefebure notes, the entire video is “heavily art directed” — right down to the grannies’ (yes, grannies) outfits.

Art-directed grannies. Screengrab via Vimeo.
Art-directed grannies. Screengrab via Vimeo.

The campaign is a return to form for Design Army, which collaborated with the ballet for an ad campaign last year that also featured dancers in gravity-defying poses in classic Hong Kong locales.

The campaign was so good, in fact, a washing machine company on the mainland literally ripped it off lock, stock, and barrel.

In an interview with the regional marketing publication Mumbrella, Lefebure said at the time: “I love this quote ‘don’t worry about people stealing your design work, worry about the day they stop’.”

As visually arresting as Design Army’s latest outing is, it’s not the only outfit churning out world class dance videos in the SAR.

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