How My Dance Team Growing Up Taught Me the Value of Content Marketing

A bit of background:
I have been fortunate enough to grow up dancing competitively since I was six years old. I have had the most incredible opportunities to travel, build insanely strong friendships and mentorships, and been able to learn what it means to be truly dedicated to something. I started competing in regional competitions with the goal of qualifying for nationals when I was a nugget.

Fast forward eight years of competing, traveling, and rehearsing/training, and I found myself completely burned out by the competition circuit. I remember thinking: “why does this matter?” and “what impact am I making?”. I knew that I wanted to get more out of all of the years of hard work that I had put in. It was then when I realized I wanted to dance professionally but in a commercial dance capacity instead of going on to dance in a college dance program/ballet or modern concert company. I was able to intern with a national dance competition, (counterproductive to my attempting to step back from competitions I know…), but I knew that this internship would provide the opportunity to network with the rockstar faculty and that it did. I made connections and gained mentors that still guide me to this day and have offered immense opportunities that positively changed the way I think. I spent a summer in LA training with Muse Dance Company at Millenium, Edge, and other renowned studios in the center of the commercial dance scene. I spent time in New York City with Project 7 Dance Company as well. Even though I stepped back from dance currently, I’ve learned ALOT about how dance fits into media when my friends have started booking roles and I’ve gotten to hear about their experiences. I noticed how product placement, content marketing strategy, and even viral campaigns are central to commercial dance. To that end, only the very elite dancers make it to this level on commercial spots that marketers are fighting to be involved in. This exemplifies how critical the intersection of dance and marketing has become.

Personally, I’ve clearly chosen another route with college, for now at least. Amidst my changing course, I am still fascinated by the dance industry, especially at its intersection with the marketing industry since I’m focusing on this here in undergrad at UGA. Bottom line? Marketers understand that people love watching dance, love to dance themselves, and love when a scene is made through dancers. It’s fun, exudes positive energy, and is very intentional. Perhaps more importantly, dance in marketing spots on TV, social, etc. simply makes for content that grabs people’s attention. Some of the most brilliant marketing campaigns have been centered around dance, and I’ve highlighted a few that I find particularly interesting. These provide relevant, exciting content that really matters and stirs the emotional response of target audiences.

1. Heineken “Dance More, Drink Slow” Campaign
– Heineken has a previously sports based marketing portfolio.
-This represents the transition to a more social, club scene target audience.

2. Coca-Cola “Just Dance Now” Campaign
-Les Twins dance off: how could content get more exciting? Les Twins are the commercial dance kings. Beyonce decided she loved them because of their insane talent, and she hired them to dance with her and her only on stage. Instant fame. Now their marketing tools to the team at Coca-Cola because they have such a following.
-This marked launch of movement through happiness
-push towards healthier living.

3. T-Mobile Liverpool Flash Mob
-Overall, a push to create a stronger brand presence in front of a train station. Getting regular people involved and inviting them for a mid-day dance break? Winner winner.

4. Pepsi’s “The Joy of Dance” Superbowl Spot
-Featuring Janelle Monae, this ad shows Monae walking through several scene rooms through time while holding a Pepsi until she steps into the present. The Superbowl halftime sponsor clearly utilizes the excitement that dance brings to an atmosphere to push their product.

5. Music Videos!
-Ciara “Dance like We’re Making Love” –> Beats Headphones heavily emphasized.
-Nicki Minaj “Anaconda” video–> Nicki and her dancers all wear Air Jordan shoes.
-iPhones… they’re in every music video it seems. Better luck next time, Android.
-Mayonaisse? Lady Gaga wins most unique product placement.

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6. Lexus: “A Stronger Body for Greater Control” 

-The commercial spot features the poised and (ridiculously) strong Tamara Rojo, director of the English National Ballet.

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