A four and a half minute clip of a man dancing (badly) all over the world has garnered over 2.5 million views on YouTube in less than a week. According to its description, the clip documents Matt Harding dancing in 42 countries over the course of 14 months. The journey was made possible by Stride, a new gum by Cadbury Schweppes. But in order to figure that out, you have to dig around a bit.
My first question about Harding’s video project was, of course, “How and why would he do this?” Matt Harding’s website, Where The Hell Is Matt? describes how he was able to dance (badly) in 42 countries.
In 2003, while traveling in Asia after he quit his job, Harding’s travel buddy filmed him doing his signature dance. The original clip gained so much attention that he was approached by Stride, who offered to fund his next trip… and the next one. The result is the video seen below, which is surprisingly devoid of any explicit advertising. On Matt’s YouTube page, he posts Stride’s website in the video’s extended description (it is only seen if you click “more info” next to the clip’s upload date) and that’s as far as it goes for advertising.
In the FAQ section of Harding’s website, his response to a question about whether or not he was forced to chew gum on his trip is simply, “They didn't make me do much of anything. They are very good people.”