How To Get “Let’s Dance” to “Who Dat”

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Published: July 6, 2019

Every fan base wants one, almost every fan base needs one, some are desperate for a half decent one (see: Carolina Panthers “Keep Pounding”). It’s a sports team’s catch phrase, their hype slogan, a sticky saying slung together by the marketing department and, best case scenario, swiftly adopted and easily mashed up with the city’s attitude. It’s the catchy chorus to a hit song, the hashtag to a dominant influencer’s Instagram caption. 

The Saints have had one since forever – dropping a “Who Dat?” at any airport in the direction of anyone wearing anything resembling New Orleans will get a reciprocated “Who Dat?” Call it a local boy bias, but “Who Dat?” belongs in the Hype Slogan Hall of Fame. Recency bias has “Fear The Dear” and “We The North” trending upward, along with mainstays like “Grit ‘n’ Grind”. But do any of these elicit the call and response bravado and rich local flavor of “Who Dat?”

On the surface, “Let’s Dance” does not. But it’s early. With a little elbow grease, some commitment from Pelicans fans, and a lot of billboard ad spends, we can get there.

“Let’s Dance” Kind Of Already Sounds Like “Who Dat”

Some of the work here is done for us organically which is a really good sign for these types of things. Both are kind of posing a question, albeit in a sideways fashion. But Pelicans fans aren’t really asking for permission to dance, we’re telling you that dancing is probably, in all likelihood, about to commence. Saints fans aren’t really asking you to tell them who thinks they will defeat the Saints – they’re asking who in their right mind thinks they can defeat these Saints. An identical number of syllables is good, a mere two of them is even better. 

Let’s Dance” Can Easily Be Integrated Into The Game Day Experience

Is it worthy of a pre game group effort ala’ Who Dat in the Superdome? Without a rhythmic chant this isn’t likely. But having local celebrities invited to take center court and just simply greet the crowd, introduce themselves, and say “Let’s Dance”, followed by the video presentation and starting lineup announcements could be the flagship ritual the Smoothie King Center needs. 

This could also go very, very wrong. Think the “Let’s Dance” cam, scanning the crowd for easy jokes to a song that is the opposite of New Orleans (think Mom twerking to Jump On It”). The keys to a successful 2019-2020 season are giving Jrue Holiday the leadership keys, building a foundation for Zion, and not having the “Let’s Dance” cam. 

There’s Already a Trademark Issue

Whoops. Turns out the Pelicans and Zion Williamson both separately trademarked the phrase with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hours after the phrase was introduced at the Draft. Attorney Josh Gerben first reported on this and also added that “it’s very likely that the parties will work this out.” Well, good, because trademark disputes are bad. 

But I think this only means positive things in the long run for “Let’s Dance.” Multiple trademark attempts, a short-lived concern over proper ownership, add in a tattoo from a local Twitter celebrity and dope merchandise and what do you have? You just might have the beginnings of the new “Who Dat?” 

 

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