Is Matt the Next Jared?

Both The New York Times and Advertising Age have stories this week about Matt Harding—that guy from the dancing video that’s been up on the Web in various forms for a couple years.

It turns out that Matt is sponsored by Stride Gum, but you wouldn’t really know it from watching the latest version of the video (above) until the end. 

While I admire the low-key approach, Stride seems to be missing a major opportunity here.

Today’s Internet audiences are fickle and YouTube fame fades fast. Do I really care about “dancing guy” after I’ve been sent a link to his video a dozen times? And what’s the connection to Stride Gum and its brand, anyway?

Contrast that to how Subway has used Jared Fogle to pound home the brand’s “Eat Healthy, Eat Fresh” positioning for more than a decade.

Unfortunately for Stride, it may already be too late to make the connection. Matt’s 15 minutes of fame may be just about over. And I’m not sure that “Dancing: The Sequel” will have the same legs.