Not being known to date as a conformist, tango – the dance – was a topic I was keen to avoid today. But finding out that the partner dance, originating in the nineteenth century in South America, was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2009, could not pass without a mention.
In 1998, an Argentine tango film was released, written and directed by Carlos Saura, with the plot centring around a middle-aged theatre director in Buenos Aires. Seeking distraction when his girlfriend leaves him, he throws himself into his next project, a musical about the tango. Imaginatively titled Tango, the film was issued on DVD in 1999 in Spanish with English subtitles.
As well as being a dance, Tango is also a soft drink, now primarily sold in the UK, Ireland and a few other European countries, such as Sweden, Norway and Hungary. As of August 2011, the flavours available in the United Kingdom were orange, apple, cherry and citrus.
Advertisements for Tango attracted attention in the 1990s when they became well known for their eccentricity. The advertisements arguably became more talked-about than the product itself and manufacturer Britvic considers the drink to be “probably most famous for its successful and innovative marketing campaigns”. The drink’s first campaign introduced the catchphrase “You know when you’ve been Tango’d“, produced by advertising agency HHCL (Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury & Partners). Who doesn’t remember that?