The Weeknd’s performance at the MTV VMAs was absolutely phenomenal and (depending on where his career goes from here) could go down as a bit of a coronation of Abel’s new pop persona. Making that moment even greater is the strange ad that followed the performance, where The Weeknd left the VMAs and rode past a burning car while listening to his own music in a car driven by John Travolta.
The truth of the Apple Music ad is no less strange than that sentence. Check it out up top.
What truly makes this ad interesting is its celebratory nature. Abel is clearly taking a victory lap through the backstage area, with fellow musicians giving him props. When he tunes into Beats 1, the DJ is already going gaga over his just-ended performance. That means the Beauty Behind The Madness singer called his shot, essentially. He knew that he was going to get up on one of the biggest stages of his career and murder the whole room.
The ad isn’t finished, so who knows where Travolta is taking Tesfaye or even when we’ll find out. But the confidence the once-anonymous crooner had is something we should take away from this, even after John Travolta’s unsettling Cheshire Cat grin fades from our dreams.