Dead but still marketable: Audrey Hepburn shills for Gap

Audrey Hepburn’s dance in 1957′s “Funny Girl” “Funny Face” has been appropriated by failing retail giant Gap to sell skinny black pants. Set to AC/DCs “Back in Black” the spot puts Hepburn, who passed away in 1993, against a tan background while using cheap kaleidoscope image manipulation tricks and star art to make the dance segment seem more modern.

It’s dumb, it’s not catchy, and it won’t do much for Gap except generate controversy:

The LA Times reports that Hepburn is one of the most marketable dead celebrities, ranking just third among late female starlets:

“If it’s executed in good taste, her appeal will carry the advertising very well,” said Levitt, president of Marketing Evaluations, Inc. Every two years, his firm conducts a survey to determine the Q ratings of 168 dead celebrities. In the most recent one, Hepburn ranked in popularity behind only two other women — Lucille Ball and Katharine Hepburn. “If you started searching for a likable female with strong recognition to a current female audience,” said Levitt, “Audrey Hepburn would be the first one you’d come to. Lucille Ball would represent comedy, and Katharine Hepburn would probably have a much older skew.”

Audrey Hepburn’s son, Sean Ferrer, approved the ad and worked with the company on the spot. “We ran everything by him, and he had lots of things to say.”

Gap has admitted that people don’t really care about their crappy clothes or ads starring forgettable celebrities, and that they just want people to notice them again:

Reviving a staple like the slim black pants, part of its new “Keep It Simple” campaign, could help revive Gap’s sliding fortunes. “The worst thing a marketer can do is spend a lot of money and people are like, ‘Oh well, another ad for Gap,’ ” said Kyle Andrew, Gap’s vice president of marketing. “This is polarizing. Any time we can do anything that elicits passion is great.”

Madonna would agree with you, Gap marketing person.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

11 Responses to “Dead but still marketable: Audrey Hepburn shills for Gap”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Megan says:

    Did you mean “Funny Face”?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I like this commercial!

  3. yo says:

    that was a heinous crime against everything elegant she stands for.

  4. oozing gap says:

    This commercial takes “The Gap” to new lows. I will not purchase anything from them until they apologize for this abortion of a commercial. Gotta wonder what happened to Sean Ferrer’s soul!

  5. Anne says:

    Yeah I think it was Funny Face. Funny Girl was Streisand.

  6. Smartie says:

    Whoah, that’s as bad as the Gene Kelly commercial from a few years back. Talk about crass! What – they really, really can’t think of anything new?

  7. Nickie says:

    This commercial is despicable, and downright deplorable. It makes Audrey Hepburn look like she’s having an epileptic seizure with a Tourette’s Syndrome tic when it’s taken out of context from Funny Face.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I happen to like the new Gap ad with Audrey Hepburn…It made me want to go browse around a Gap store again!

  9. Anonymous says:

    You ppl are taking this ad way too personal! The ad was fun and entertaining!
    I loved the ad!

  10. sarah says:

    i liked it

  11. Kewl says:

    I thought it was witty and fresh… especially to AC/DC.