How do you create a truly unexpected perfume commercial in 2016? Take an underexposed beauty (The Leftovers' Margaret Qualley) and set her free to flex Olympic-like muscles, power-kick her way around a gala venue, and shoot bullets from her fingers. Also, it doesn't hurt if she becomes all-out possessed by the beats of a Sam Spiegel and Ape Drums (featuring Assassin) banger — while making ugly faces. Now that is how you do a perfume ad.
In a new spot for Kenzo World Le Nouveau Parfum, Spike Jonze trashes all the typical fragrance-ad tropes (finally, no more sexy voiceover!) for a modern and inspiring take on badass womanhood. Within three minutes' time, Qualley is shown being mischievous, silly, adventurous, strong, and totally bonkers. At no point is this girl seductive in the traditional sense — yet she’s completely magnetic. It’s part Firestarter, part Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice video (which was also directed by Jonze), and 100% radical.
We dare you to watch the spot without dancing in your office chair, fantasising about taking a dive through an evil eye made entirely of flowers — or feeling the power of what can happen when you step outside the box.