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Citroen DS3: Monroe & Lennon Ads. Just wrong

Sat, 06 Mar 2010

Citroen DS3 - John Lennon & Marilyn Monroe Adverts. Videos below.

When we first heard that Citroen intended dragging the DS moniker out of the bin marked ‘Citroen’s Credible History’ we were a little disparaging. To stick a badge on a super mini that came from a legendary Citroen saloon seemed at best cynical and at worst sacrilege.

Although we do still feel the DS badge was better left on the history shelf, we are now pretty much on-side with Citroen on the route they have taken. The Citroen DS3 is a credible car with an identity very much separate – and more ‘Premium’ – than its C3 sibling. The new DS4 looks set to do the same with an even bigger change from the C4 and the DS5 – whether it comes in the guise of the GQbyCitroen or not – looks extremely promising.

But our new-found admiration for Citroen – after years of corporate blandness and beige cars – has been severely tested by the current ‘Anti-Retro’ ads Citroen are running for the DS3, featuring dubbed clips of John Lennon and Marilyn Monroe. They’re not dubbed to say ‘Buy a DS3 – I would‘, but they may as well be.

Image rights for dead celebrities is a very grey area and has been fought over endlessly in court. Who owns the rights to these clips; the estates of Monroe and Lennon or the owners of the original footage? Have Citroen paid those estates a fee and got the rights to use the footage, or have they just bought up the old clips from the owners?

Really, that’s not the point (although if it’sYoko that’s given her permission she should be shot). This is tacky advertising. It’s a big shot in the foot by Citroen, who should have thought this through more thoroughly. Maybe they’re being cynical, maybe just stupid. But would they be running a similar ad in France using Piaf or Chevalier or Hallyday (oh, wait. Hallyday’s still alive)?  We doubt it.

We’ll probably get some stick from Citroen, but we’ve cut the ads together so you can judge for yourself. Maybe we’re wrong? Maybe it doesn’t matter?

By Cars UK