A Word From Our Sponsors… Gene Kelly Drives A VW Golf

You may remember a few weeks ago that the featured ad in A Word From Our Sponsors… was the Steve McQueen Ford Puma commercial.

At the time, I mentioned that the idea of using/exploiting the image of dead celebrities to promote products seemed morally dubious to me.

This week’s advert – also for a car, in this case the Volkswagen Golf – falls into the same category.

From 2005, I think, it features some outstanding high-tech jiggery-pokery (stop me if I’m getting too technical here…) that transforms the late Gene Kelly‘s Singin’ In The Rain dance routine into a more hip and up-to-date body-popping, break-dancing routine.

The effect is undeniably amazing – although, maybe it’s just me, but there’s something slightly disturbing and spooky about how the digitally altered Kelly looks as his body contorts through the routine yet his head hardly moves and a grin is frozen on his face.

But amazing or not – is it right to use people’s image and reputation in this exploitative manner?


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