The exuberance of Gwen Stefani’s latest single, “Make Me Like You,” is the first of its kind, a video that was not only shot on live television, but also serves as a Target commercial (a fact that, if not already made clear by the costume and set design, is driven home by the presence of the brand’s logo shot from overhead at the end).
Opening on Gwen awakening to a war-torn looking environment, she quickly collects her bearings to get pulled about by her backup dancers, eventually leading her to a Grease-esque beauty salon. In fact, there are even Grease 2 vibes as Gwen and her dancers appear on pink motorcycles (Vespas, really) that they writhe about on, until she moves on to the next set, an “old timey” cocktail bar called, fittingly, Blake’s. Her emotions, shot in one take, become increasingly genuine, particularly as a close-up of her singing behind a piano with a rose backdrop finds her earnest meter flying off the charts.
The emotional abandon that comes with the nature of the song is punctuated by a rollerblading scene in which Gwen “falls” down while being swept up by one of her male dancers. The metaphor? Yeah, love can take you by storm sometimes, and it might even make you collapse later, but goddammit it’s worth it in the moment.
The success of the video was, of course, relevant to the fact that its director was Sophie Muller, who has worked numerous times with both No Doubt and Gwen Stefani, including the sumptuous visual offerings that are “Simple Kind of Life” and “4 In the Morning.” All in all, Stefani might just have you converted to the notion that the synergy of art and commerce is possible–at least more so than it was for Madonna and Pepsi.