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When Volkswagen and Apple teamed up for a commercial offering a bespoke iPod to purchasers of the Beetle, the accompanying music was from rock/pop group The Polyphonic Spree. The Texan band’s main attraction for gig goers is the childlike spectacle of 22 white-robed band members jumping euphorically in the air.

Jumping imagery has moved on. Jumping as a random expression of joy is increasingly visualizing deeper impulses. It’s partly to do with our current nostalgia for childhood, for the desire to play around like a kid. Jumping represents freedom from confusion and escape from bonds, letting go of inhibitions and doubts, making big decisions. It’s about a lack of adult embarrassment, a physical war cry against complication, procrastination.

The fact that hula hoops and trampolining are being integrated into fitness routines shows how business is beginning to repackage childhood nostalgia. But jumping is also a visual metaphor for bouncing around ideas, for freeing-up not just physical inhibitions but mental ones. The increasing use of jumping imagery is about demonstrating mental flexibility in an ever-changing world. As Mick Jagger sang in his ode to escape “Jumping Jack Flash” – “it’s a gas, gas, gas.”
 







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