Katy Perry's Whitney Museum spectacle may have been a prank, but this video is a real — and very strange — ad. On Monday, Perry tweeted a promo teaser for her new album, Witness, which will be released on July 9.
The video opens with an age-old photography trick. Perry is staring downwards, before looking up into the camera when she starts talking. The fact that we're privy to this movement is both refreshingly candid and deeply unsettling.
"Can you see me?" Perry opens the trailer. "I mean, I know you can see me. But can you really see me?"
The questions, combined with the video's dark background and Perry's light-colored outfit, evoke the trailers for a horror movie or show. At any moment, something Perry can't see could strike her from behind the shadows.
But then, the trailer takes a turn towards PSA territory, with Perry reminding viewers (and herself?) of her own worth.
"My name is Katheryn Hudson," Perry says to the camera, using her birth name. "I'm vulnerable and strong. I'm a woman, an artist. I'm liberated, goofy, and I'm not always right. I'm Katy Perry, and I'm not just one thing." Mashable notes that the self-affirmations are also reminiscent of Millionaire Matchmaker.
On the one hand, the video is working — Perry has garnered a lot of attention for her album. The conversation about "Swish Swish" has started to fade, and this ad brought Witness into the discussion yet again. It's a savvy move, even if it makes no sense. I still have no idea what she wants us to "really see" here, other than a very odd Spotify ad.
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