Marilyn Monroe died in 1962. Or did she? How about John Lennon? Did he actually survive the tragic shooting by a deranged fan in 1980? And then there was Tupac Shakur. And Kurt Cobain? Bruce Lee?
How about Elvis? Has he really left the building?
The maker of a Dutch beer — a Dutch fruit flavored beer, to be precise — wondered what it would be like if all of those prematurely deceased cultural icons never really died. Instead, Marilyn Monroe and friends simply slipped out of the public eye to a tropical island paradise where they’ve been kicking back, catching some rays, and of course, swilling fruit flavored Bavaria Radler beer ever since.
This bizarre advertisement which presumably is actually running on Dutch television, was posted by the beer maker on Saturday and has rolled up 738,706 YouTube views in the interim, maybe from people who genuinely wonder what Marilyn Monroe would be like at age 86, and what the other famous faces would look like today.
But probably many of the viewers are driven to see who could actually put together such a monument to questionable taste. One only hopes the fruity beer is a bit more tasteful than the ad’s depiction of an aging Marilyn Monroe massaging sun tan lotion into the belly of Tupac, who never takes off his bandana.
“We all know the stories and theories surrounding the death of certain stars,” says the company on its YouTube page — in Dutch, and translated here for your convenience. “But what’s the real story? This Bavaria Radler commercial makes it clear once and for all.”
Well, sort of.
Of course, actors portray the no-longer-living stars, with various degrees of accuracy. But perhaps the weirdest thing about the commercial is the choices it makes about the varying degrees to which these icons would have aged, had they lived.
The oldest of the bunch is Marilyn Monroe who would be soon-to-turn 88 if she were still kicking. Yet while she is certainly portrayed as older than in the last images of her we’ve all seen, in this commercial, Marilyn Monroe appears not a day over 55.
John Lennon looks approximately the 74 years he would have on him if he’d survived. But Bruce Lee, who was actually just a month younger than Lennon, looks barely older than, 32 his age when he passed in 1973.
And then there’s Elvis who still dresses like 1970s-era Vegas Elvis and looks about the same, though his pompadour has gone snowy white, but in reality would be five years older than John Lennon.
Check out Marilyn Monroe and her not-quite-dead cohorts, kicking it on a desert island somewhere, in the Dutch beer ad below.