A fashion ad featuring Beyoncé as Beyoncé writhing around in a bikini on a tropical beach? Obvious, maybe. Genius, nonetheless.
This is H&M's perfectly simple new ad, starring Ms. Carter, as her stage name goes, in the Bahamas, performing an excerpt of the song "Standing on the Sun," from her forthcoming album. It might be early to call it a formula, but the branded music video is becoming a familiar tack for the singer—who teased another of her forthcoming songs in a Pepsi ad earlier this month. That commercial also focused more or less on Beyoncé doing Beyoncé: singing, dancing, being fierce, and powerful, and incredibly attractive, very much commanding the spotlight.
A fashion brand is a more natural fit, though—for the artist and the format both. It eliminates any need for forced, awkward shots of the singer drinking the product or spewing pseudo-philosophical pabulum packaged as brand positioning. All she needs to do is wear the clothes, and do what she does best—belt out a catchy tune, strike dramatic poses, make eyes at the camera, and look generally, rivetingly fantastic.
She remains exactly where she belongs: right at the center of attention. The brand gets its moment in the sun, so to speak, and its message is clear enough. Wear these clothes—and you'll look and feel like Beyoncé.