Jul 12, 2013

Bruce Lee Lives Again In Controversial "Game Change" Ad

As part of a Johnnie Walker campaign based out of Hong Kong, Joseph Kahn directed this very interesting ad for the Scotch Whisky company, which is bound to raise some intense controversy due to it's narrator: Bruce Lee, brought back from the dead in an ad which has been defended as a 'tribute' by the director. I personally don't buy it.

The biggest issue that lies here is featuring a deceased celebrity who famously shunned alcohol indirectly shilling expensive Blue Label whiskey. It's undeniable, despite the amazing artistry that went into recreating a facsimile of the martial artist's face. What I found most upsetting was the usage of one of his most famous speeches, excerpted and translated into Chinese from his famous 1971 interview on the Pierre Berton Show regarding his thoughts on water:

'Dragons never die because dragons draw power from water. Water, it's like instincts. Shapeless...Formless..Fluid..You Cannot grasp hold of it. But let it flow and it has the power to change the world. I believe in instincts. Everyone possesses this unlimited power, and it tells you to never follow the rules, but to make them.

 It isn't enough just to think, but to feel. This is what has helped me change everything, this is how legends are made! Follow your instincts, it's the most honest path. Don't just seek the path to success, but to exceptional success. Do you have the guts to follow your own gut? Do you have the courage to express who you are? Be water, my friend..Because someday you'll be more than a success, you'll be a game changer.'

Such an inspirational speech about purity in life indirectly remixed into a pitch for the 'Walk On' creed for well off scotch drinkers in China. What's your take on this ad? Personally I've always believed that the dead should be left in peace, especially in advertising. There's a certain tastelessness to using someone's likeness after their passing, especially knowing that they probably never would have accepted the role if they were still living, as well as the inevitable uncanny valley aspect.

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