Curse you, modern technology! (Picture me shaking my grouchy old lady fist at the laptop screen now.) Film icon and all-around lovely human being Audrey Hepburn, who died in 1993, has been digitally resurrected from the grave and made to star in a chocolate commercial. Ugh!
The commercial, for U.K. chocolate brand Galaxy, uses footage from the classic Audrey film Roman Holiday. In the movie, Audrey’s character is on a bus that gets stuck behind an overturned vegetable cart (as they do), so she hops into a convertible with a handsome stranger (as one does!). Now, with some tricky editing and film magic, they make it look like Audrey, in all her incredible gorgeousness, has a bar of chocolate in her bag, which she EATS before her handsome guys drives her away.
"People aren’t that stupid," said my 9-year-old daughter, who watched the commercial over my shoulder just now. "That makes me NOT want to buy that chocolate!"
I know they’re not trying to make us think Audrey was REALLY in the ad (at least I hope they’re not), but I’m with you, kid. It totally makes me NOT want to buy that brand and this is from someone who really, really loves chocolate (mmmmm chocolate!). I’m slightly mollified by hearing that her sons signed off on this abomination, so it’s not like Galaxy stole Audrey’s image, but I still don’t like it. Leave Audrey a-lohone!
To add insult to injury, "Moon River" plays through the whole thing. Not only is it LAME to use one of the sweetest songs ever made to sell candy, but that recording is from an entirely different Audrey Hepburn movie! Sheesh!
It's not the technology that I'm against; it's the way they're using it. I've always hated commercials that rely on that kind of macabre trickery, and I'm not the only one who feels this way: Back in 1995, the obnoxious resurrection of dancing genius Fred Astaire in a Dirt Devil commercial spurred the passage of the Astaire Bill, meant to preserve the rights of the dearly departed.
Isn't it crazy that we actually need such laws? Wouldn't plain old human decency do the trick? Just because you CAN do something doens't mean you should. Dress up an Audrey lookalike and re-create the scene if you really want to pay homage, but leave Audrey's actual image -- and history -- to rest in peace.
What do you think about dead celebrities starring in commercials?
Image via audreyhepburnarchive/YouTube