I’ve been thinking about that viral video that shows 20 strangers kissing. We know now that it was an ad for a clothing company. A very sophisticated means of getting images in your head and tying them to a brand. Happens everyday on or in every channel, magazine, website and free app. It’s also been revealed that the 20 “strangers” were friends of either the director or the company’s founder. Some of them knew each other. So it’s impossible to know how spontaneous these scenes were. Many of those who contributed to the 46 million views have felt a little manipulated.
Personally, I don’t. Maybe because I’ve been glued to a TV for most of my 50 years, I’m always aware of what advertisers try to do. When I see something that rises above the norm, I applaud . . . but it doesn’t mean I’m more likely to buy. Besides I don’t wear women’s clothing. Anymore.
When I first saw this video, I found myself captivated by it. It brought to mind the music video for Michelle Branch & Carlos Santana’s “The Game of Love“. There is an obvious titillation in watching two people kiss each other with passion and I’m one of those take-a-picture-it-will-last-longer weirdos who can’t help but steal a glance when two people are making out in public. But, just as quickly, I tend to turn my head away.
And why is that? Two people are kissing in public. They may be so caught up in the heat of the moment that they are blissfully unaware of people around. Or they might be showing off their love with a freedom that only two people in love can truly feel. Either way, we the people should feel we have license to ogle their face sucking. Right?
The kiss is a very intimate act. It might be the most intimate two people can be with each other. Even a simple kiss on the cheek, when exchanged between friends, implies a deeper connection. And as a whole, we are not comfortable with public intimacy. I’d like to blame our Puritan roots, but most of us are of different ethnicity. No, I think it’s very American to be . . . shall we say . . . prudish. No doubt many who saw this video felt it was too much. Inappropriate.
The beauty, if it exists in this video is in the fantasy that you put 10 couples together, complete strangers to each other, and they just drop their defenses and share this intimacy. We are the world, kiss me! In reality, not so much. Walk out on the street and ask the first two people you see . . . different genders if you must . . . and ask them to make out. Better yet, tell them you want to video them. You’ll get weird looks, a few middle fingers and maybe a punch in the snout.
And they won’t wear your clothes either.