That Dancing video

It's been written up in the Times. Congratulations, Pudge! Timely posting, just a few weeks ahead of the curve. I'm not sure that the article is really worth reading - you learn a bit about Matt Harding, the guy who made the video - but at the end, you come out not really knowing much more than when you began. Here's one of the few things I found interesting:

... the newly formed Stride chewing gum compan ... offered to underwrite Mr. Harding’s subsequent travels, virtually no strings attached. (In the 2006 version the Stride name pops up in the corner of the screen every now and then, and, in the newest video, the company is acknowledged at the very end, but amazingly, in this era of shameless commercial tie-ins, Mr. Harding is not obliged to wear a Stride T-shirt or deliver a little pitch for the product. Exactly what connection the company sees between gum and a guy dancing, but not chewing, remains a bit of a mystery.)
I understand the logic behind the italicized comment - Stride is owned by Cadbury-Schweppes, which as a public company has a duty to maximize returns for its shareholders, blah blah blah. But what irritates me about the comment is that it sort of unthinkingly criticizes the people that funded the video, subtly implying that the marketing guys at Stride are perhaps not putting their ad dollars to good use. Never mind that companies used to sponsor ostensibly unrelated TV shows back in the day, e.g. the Colgate comedy hour didn't really have much to do with toothpaste. I guess in a day when I look at pretty much every advertising engagement as being a crass ploy for my attention, I actually appreciate that a company went out and sponsored something interesting, regardless of whether or not it had anything to do with their product. And let's be honest, what are you really going to tell me about a piece of gum that's so damn interesting?

Anyway, that's a lot to say about just one line of text, which was probably more intended to convey puzzlement than anything else. But, my rant being done, I'm just glad that some company out there is actually funding something that's interesting, rather than the usual schlock out there.

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