It has all the ingredients of a hit music video: scenes featuring several sexy girls in string bikinis catching some rays on a sun-soaked beach, or showing off shapely legs in teeny tiny shorts, occasionally pausing whatever it is they are doing and leaning in to cosy up to the star.
In this case, the star is not Snoop Dogg. Even though he and his rapper colleagues can be credited for practically inventing the scantily-clad-women-in-a-music-video-will-make-it-a-surefire-winner formula. No, the dog starring in this music video is a real one, of the canine persuasion. Of what breed can’t be determined exactly, since we only ever see the back of her head and her profile. However, from the colouring of her coat and the way her ears are shaped and almost stick upright, I would be willing to bet money on there being at least one Alsatian involved in her bloodline/creation.
The dog, a rescue named Lemon, is only partially visible throughout the video since she also doubled as camera(wo)man (camera canine?). And that, more than the bikini shots or the actual song featured in it, is why this video for South African musician Johnny Neon’s latest single “Hearts”, has in recent days become an almost global sensation.
Make no mistake, the song, an upbeat, pleasing synth-pop number, is certainly catchy enough to enjoy plenty of airplay. But the fact that the entire thing was filmed by a dog definitely aided in the music video for “Hearts” going viral, airing on American television and stealing as many hearts as it has.
The project’s director/filmmaker, Dave Meinert, was dogsitting Lemon as a favour to a friend one weekend when he came up with the brilliant (although some might say barking mad) idea to strap a GoPro camera to the dog’s back and employing her to shoot Johnny Neon’s music video. The camera was kept in position using half of a soccer shin guard and an H-harness.
The video shows Lemon escaping from a house, bounding down steps and sidewalks and taking off through the streets of Cape Town. Along the way, she visits the beach – where she laps up the attention and ear scratches bestowed on her by the above-mentioned bikini-clad ladies - the train tracks, the harbour, gets treats at a bakery, sniffs out other dogs at the park, partakes in a game of fetch, frolics in the surf, goes on a car ride and eventually ends up back at home again. The entire sojourn is seen from the adorable pup’s perspective. At least Johnny Neon himself gets to make a cameo appearance too.
Before the cat lovers among you get catty and say that the music industry has gone to the dogs, check out what all the rightful fuss is about here.