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Imaginary Forces
Tide "Shakespeare" Image
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Time: 0:32
Tide "Shakespeare"
This rather odd commercial greets visitors to Times Square. The difficulty of getting New Yorkers to notice something other than the concrete beneath their shoes was solved by wrapping Shakespeare into the ad.

Shakespeare forms a large part of the Imaginary Forces mythology, including the firm's name. The name comes from the Prologue of Shakespeare's Henry V, a particular favorite of Kyle Cooper's. Cooper's choice of the words is apt: in Shakespeare's day, there was a semantic difference drawn between "fancy" and "imagination," both of which would today be translated simply as "imagination." "Fancy" involved simply the random combination of images, while "imagination" indicated a more focused production of images. "Imaginary forces" actually refers to a person's faculty for conjuring up realistic images from a suggestion made by a book or a play.


When Cooper works, he tends to surround himself with books and references which help him in creating ideas and concepts for the sequence. Shakespeare would say that in doing so, Cooper is putting his imaginary forces to work.

The connections between Shakespeare and Imaginary Forces don't stop there. Stephen Greenblatt, one of today's foremost Shakespeare scholars, once said in reference to Shakespeare's uses of imagery that people in Elizabethan times would have been impressed by modern motion graphics work. What Greenblatt didn't know that much of the graphics he was talking about had been influenced by the work of a man named Kyle Cooper, who had, in turn, studied long and hard at the Bard's table.