Check out this 2013 ad from UK-based Galaxy Chocolates that’s getting a lot of traction in the US in 2014. In the ad, produced by Framestore and ad agency AMV BBDO, footage from the 1953 film Roman Holiday, is seemingly re-appropriated into a new narrative featuring Hepburn on the Mediterranean coast, ready to indulge into a Galaxy chocolate bar.

The only problem: Audrey Hepburn died in 1993.

Apparently that wasn’t as big a problem as one would think. Using a combination of a Hepburn look-a-like, segments of past films and documentaries and some of the same visual effects used in 2013’s much-technically lauded Gravity, this ad is somewhat of a technical masterpiece.

But isn’t it also a little creepy and off-putting?

This ad, from Superbowl XXXI (in 1997), features Fred Astaire dancing with a Dirt Devil and was culled from footage of Royal Wedding (1951) and Easter Parade (1948).

And this extended Dior commercial, on-air in 2011, features Academy Award winning actress Charlize Theron – as well as a trio of deceased actresses, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Marlene Dietrich preparing for a Dior fashion show.

Sadly, there are plenty more where these came from and though they are ultimately approved-use, and though the use of VFX (visual effects) is a cool evolution, there’s nothing in these spots that makes me think they’re real. We don’t actually believe it’s 1950s-era Audrey Hepburn digging into a Galaxy chocolate bar, right? Or, do we believe there is a space-time continuum where Charlize Theron of 2011 would be at a fashion show with a trio of women who only existed (in this form) in the 1950s? Is there a point beyond provocation?

What do you think? Effective ad or creepy gimmick? Both?


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