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.