ECDs Benjamin Dessagne & Stephane Santana, go behind the scenes of their latest work for Just Dance,
What was the original brief for this campaign?
The original brief was to promote the 2019 edition of the game Just Dance and Show everyone that the Just Dance franchise is still one of the most fun and exciting video game experiences you can have.
Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.
BBDO already worked on Just Dance and released three films in 2017 with the concept: “You never know someone until you dance with them”.
For Just Dance 2019, we wanted to go further both in concept and execution by revealing our point of view on why we all have this innate desire to dance.
What inspired you to approach the campaign this way?
We knew we had to show people dancing throughout the film because this is what inspires people to buy the game. But, we didn’t want to make another dancing commercial. We thought that in order to make an interesting film about dancing, we had to come up with a point of view on dancing. Dancing, being a universal language, we tried to find a universal truth about dancing and what drives us to dance as humans.
How difficult was it to sell the idea to Ubisoft?
Selling the idea to Ubisoft was probably the easiest part.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during the process?
The biggest challenge was actually a production challenge. The director, Gary Freedman (la pac), and the agency wanted the film to feel as real as possible. In order to achieve this, we decided to cast only amateur dancers and asked them to come with their own clothes. We shot with a handheld camera and in real dance locations, using only the light that was available on site.
This can only work if you trust the production company and the director you’re working with. And if your client trusts the agency because there isn’t any pre-approved storyboard, shooting board, rehearsals, choreographer, or any type of tangible document except locations where you’ll shoot. It’s pretty much: “Hey, let’s film people dance and see what comes up”.
What’s a “behind the scenes” story that only you know about?
Clement Payen, from the creative team with Linnea Kavsjo, hated the soundtrack we decided to use (Britney Spears “Work Work” Which is one of the new in-game tracks for JD2019). But after hearing it a hundred times, he started to love it. He is now a Britney fan. And now you just made it public.
And finally, who is the best dancer of the team?
The best dancers were the youngest ones. They are the ones who dance in the most naturally without trying to impress, regardless of what you would think about their performance. It was pure joy to watch them dance and have fun.