STOMP & CIRCUMSTANCE

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Off-Broadway dancers strutting their wild stuff in commercials for Target retail stores may seem a bit strange, but then Target "is a bit more current than other discount stores," according to Chris Preston, a copywriter at Martin/Williams, Minneapolis.

So current, in fact, the retailer is a sponsor of the national tour of "Stomp," the hot off-Broadway show featuring a troupe of avant-garde British street performers who can turn anything into a percussion instrument, including their own bodies.

In one spot, mop- and broom-wielding dancers stomp, clean and high-step their way down a school hallway in a flight of janitorial fancy; in another they give a yellow school bus a syncopated scrub. The tag on all spots: "School's ready. Are you?"

"Stomp" members Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas co-directed the campaign through Industrial Artists in New York, and created the music and rhythms with such "found" objects as mops, buckets, brooms and dustpans, all of which was mixed by Eric Pilhofer at Pilhofer 2, Minneapolis. Pat Eastman at Edit WG, Minneapolis, edited the spots.

How did the dancers feel about appearing in a campaign for Target? "They're skeptical about being pitchmen," says Preston, who teamed with art director Mark Haumersen and CD Lyle Wedemeyer, but they were OK "as long as they didn't have to interact with the products too much."

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