Charlize Theron rushes through Versailles' Hall of Mirrors on the way to walk a fashion show runway, where the ghostly forms of long-dead movie stars linger and strike poses (and in Marilyn's case, speak) in a new 90-second commercial Dior posted online for its J'Adore fragrance.
The commercial, by Oscar-winning director Jean-Jacques Annaud ("In the Name of the Rose," "The Lover," "Seven Years in Tibet") uses real footage of Grace Kelly, Marlene Dietrich, and Marilyn Monroe from the movies and attempts to insert them seamlessly into the action, with mixed results:
The CGI in this ad is much better than past forays into the digital insertion of dearly departed movie stars. Who could forget John Wayne for Coors Light ("Now what'd you do with my pretzels?"), and as Hitfix points out, rival brand Chanel made a commercial with a computer-added Marilyn in 1987. But I think the ad would be better if they'd gone the more subtle route and left Marilyn out of it. For one thing, she steals Theron's spotlight in a way the others don't, and for another, she seems a bit kitschy and obvious for the Dior brand.
Maybe Dior felt the need to include Marilyn because younger potential fragrance consumers might not even recognize or notice Kelly or Dietrich. Either way, whoever has the ad agency job of watching reels of footage of old movies looking for stars saying lines that can advertise products today must have a fun job! I'm actually surprised there aren't more of these types of commercials, with more talking.