NICOLINA KNAPP Rides the Escalator with CITI for International Women’s Day

March 8th, 2022

This International Women’s Day, Citi introduced an energetic spot showcasing their commitment to investing in opportunities for more than 10 million women globally by 2025.  Shot alongside a majority woman-identifying crew, “Escalator” champions women and reinforces Citi’s leadership in gender equity – including their commitment to women entrepreneurs via our Citi Impact Fund, their pay equity disclosures, their social finance initiative to support 10 million women globally and more.

Created by Publicis NY, dance and music are what turn a mundane walk to work into a powerful statement: throw an obstacle in a woman’s way and she will find the means to surmount it. Driven by the pulsing Xenia Pax track “We Run It,” the spot opens on a young professional in vibrant clothing approaching the bottom of a set of escalators, with the ascending one being out of order.  After a beat, our hero leaps into a sprint moving up the downward staircase. As she dashes upward, her dancing feels improvised, fluid yet explosive, as if she must figure out in that very moment how to overcome struggle and triumph, whether it be an inconvenient escalator or daily bias.  

A creative force to be reckoned with, director Nicolina Knapp’s background in the music video world translates through the aliveness of the camera. The mixture of angles captures the relentless energy and grit of the performance as the woman resorts to some unconventional moves to make it to the top.

Finding the hero dancer was a thorough process, with Nicolina citing it as the most important decision to be made. The Publicis NY team had a clear idea of what qualities they were seeking in the role and entrusted the BR·F director’s vision and input as they began casting. 

A stylized and impactful metaphor expresses the power of women to overcome and achieve, the dance powerfully illustrates the empowerment that Citi’s support brings to women around the world.