A Beyoncé anthem is stripped of its central theme in this sobering bank ad
Spot from Try Oslo calls attention to gender financial inequity
Sep 23, 2019
The post-apocalyptic spectacle of Beyoncé’s 2011 “Run the World” music video presents a land where women command the survivors, ruling with dance battles rather than combat—"Mad Max” meets “West Side Story.” The film's song repeatedly asks, "Who run the world?" To which the chorus responds forcefully, "Girls."
So at first, a new ad for Norwegian bank DNB seems like a familiar homage. Abandoned streets and parking lots give way to lines of dancers aggressively stomping and twirling across the landscape while a cut of the girl power anthem plays. But something’s missing.
In the spot, the song's central question of "Who run the world?" is met over and over again with silence, as the chorus of dancers—now obviously all-male—continues to cavort in unison. Something is definitely wrong. If anyone runs this world, it isn’t girls.
The world reflected in the spot is actually our own, a visual metaphor for the sobering fact that 80 percent of private stock in Norway is owned by men. The two-minute wordless film was created out of Try, Oslo and directed by Sheila Johannson via Scandinavian production company New Land.