Hating Audrey Hepburn

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Via BrandNoise, I came across this EW.com Popwatch post by Michael Slezak, in which he bashes the latest Gap campaign. You know the ad, the one for the skinny black pant that forces Audrey Hepburn to dance in space to the rock stylings of AC/DC's "Back in Black." I like Hepburn. I like AC/DC. But unilke sticking chocolate in peanut butter, these are certainly not two great tastes that taste great together. And they certainly left a bad taste in Slezak's mouth. I assume he's not alone.

But it's not simply that the ad is annoying (and it is). Slezak raises a bigger point. "The woman is dead," he writes. "She did not ask to have her jaunty moment of movie self-expression turned into an idiotic call to pair a white sock with a black trouser." Amen to that. Just because a dead celebrity's estate gives the OK sign doesn't mean he or she should be inserted into an ad. Just as John Wayne would never drink Coors Light and Fred Astaire would never dance with a Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner, Audrey Hepburn wouldn't dance to AC/DC while shilling for Gap.

Not only do these sorts of ads show a lack of respect for the dead, they cause people to write blog posts with headlines that say: "I hate the Gap's ads so much right now!" Not exactly the pop-culture response any marketer is looking for.