A new TVC for South African investment company Allan Gray imagines what life would have been like for James Dean had he not died in a car crash aged just 24. Ad agecy King James teamed up with director, Keith Rose, from Velocity Films to bring the creative to life. A combination of make-up, prosthetics, body doubles and CG face replacement helps bring the legendary actor to life – and then ages him, showing a rather realistic version of what might have been. He is shown receiving a lifetime achievement Oscar, as a director, protesting against the Vietnam War, and getting his Angelina Jolie on while being a humanitarian ambassador.
The idea of exploiting a Hollywood great like Dean to sell insurance may leave a bad taste in your mouth. But, in some ways, I think it helps to prolong his memory and exposes his talent to a younger generation who may not understand his cultural relevance. Allan Gray are by no means the first to do it. Ford did something similar with Steve McQueen in the TVC for the launch of the Puma some years ago.