Bruce Lee never imbibed while he was alive, but CGI Bruce Lee loves Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky.
Resurrecting pop culture icons to push products has always been a controversial practice (one of the more memorable examples being Fred Astaire’s late 90’s Dirt Devil ad), but some folks just keep on doing it.
The latest example comes from BBH and Joseph Kahn, and features a CGI Bruce Lee promoting Johnnie Walker Blue Label in China.
As we stated above, Lee was famously a teetotaler. That is, he never drank. But because the martial arts legend is just that… a legend… he is featured in the commercial lending Johnnie Walker some of his legendary glow.
Kahn said that he and a creative exec came up with the concept for the Bruce Lee clip a year ago, shot it in Hong Kong, and worked with a VFX company in London to create the martial artist.
He also said that Shannon Lee, Bruce’s daughter, was on-hand as a consultant to make sure that they were as accurate “from look to soul” as possible.
“We wanted to be as respectful to the man and legend as we could.”
Just, you know, not the no-drinking part.
Most people on YouTube didn’t seem to get the “respect” memo, either. Comments on the video-sharing site range from “barstardised [sic] his memory” to “Bruce would hate this.”
You can watch the CGI Bruce Lee / Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky ad below, and let us know what you think. Is this an insult to the marital arts legend, or do you think it’s a cool commercial? Sound off!