As far as rock widows go, Yoko Ono’s so far done a better job of preserving her husband’s legacy than this woman. The Beatles: Rock Band and Love, the Cirque du Soleil show, are both Classy Affairs, and Ono still curates exhibits of her husband’s drawings and mementos for places like the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. So that all makes this Citroën ad that much more puzzling and awful.

Oof. It’s also not the first icon they’ve turned into an ad. I interviewed Ono late last year, and she did a great job of explaining how Rock Band could introduce the Beatles to a new generation (my 15 year old brother’s a fan now). But this commercial, which takes an ambiguous clip of Lennon talking about “not looking to the past” for inspiration, won’t have the kids Googling his name. Plus it feels so disingenuous to take a decades-old clip about not looking to the past as evidence that you don’t look to the past. Sean Lennon took to Twitter to defend the ads:

Look, TV ad was not for money. It’s just hard to find new ways to keep dad in the new world. Not many things as effective as TV.

Then he actually watched it:

Having just seen ad I realize why people are mad. But intention was not financial, was simply wanting to keep him out there in the world.

Comments (8)
  1. that ad is ghastly.

  2. Meh. I don’t see what the big gripe is about…I was more awestruck when they had digitally sewn together John Lennon’s voice in those recent One Laptop Per Child commercials…that was fuckin wrong.

  3. Pretty sure when he said “not looking to the past” he was talking about something else then cars. This kinda thing has been happening lately, dead artist being participated in random things. The result: Tv ads, people showing up in rock band like Kurt Cobain, John lennon, Johny Cash and just a couple of days ago “Smell like teen spirit” was used for a figure skater. They would all be doing backflips in there graves if they found out about any of this shit.

  4. To me, this will always be the worst of the dead-people-resurrected-for-commercials commercials:

  5. You realise, of course, it’s NOT “an ambiguous clip of Lennon talking about not looking to the past” – it’s an old piece of footage which has been overdubbed with soom aCtor tokking in a laime parody Livverpuel acc’nt. Which is just pathetic.

  6. Classic Pop Icons put a video together to show what Lennon was really saying in this Citroen ad:

  7. yeah, pretty effing lame

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