As part of a new multimillion-dollar endorsement deal with Fiat, Jennifer Lopez has shot several TV commercials for the Italian automaker, but she refused to visit her childhood stomping grounds in the Bronx to shoot a spot called 'Elegance' (video below).
Instead, the role of Lopez was played by a body double, according to two sources familiar with the commercial production. While the Lopez lookalike was actually behind the wheel in the Bronx, Lopez herself was in Los Angeles, where she was filmed inside a Fiat 500.
The shots of the actress were edited to make it appear that she was driving around New York City’s poorest area. Big Block, a Los Angeles digital production studio, was hired to merge live action footage with computer-generated imagery to make it appear as if Lopez was in the Bronx.
Lopez says in the voiceover of the commercial: “This is my world. This place inspires me.” She then adds, “They may be just streets to you, but to me they’re a playground."
To help perpetuate the fiction, the commercial is crammed with every stereotypical New York street scene possible: a teen boy drumming on overturned plastic pails, a guy break dancing on a sidewalk, a black NYPD officer walking the beat, kids cavorting under an open fire hydrant, girls in Catholic school uniforms double-dutching, graffiti artists spray painting the metal gate of a hardware store, black guys shooting hoops in the park and teenage girls trying out their best curbside hip-hop dance moves.
Fiat also lied with their press release, claiming that the commercial shows Lopez “driving a Fiat 500 Cabrio as she travels through the streets of Manhattan to the Bronx where she grew up."
The commercial, produced by Doner, a Michigan-based ad agency, purportedly “explores her personal take on how life in the New York City borough continues to inspire her to be tougher, to stay sharper and to think faster.”
Fiat boss Olivier Francois also joins the fakery, claiming, “We watch as she leaves Manhattan and makes her way back to the Bronx, where she grew up and continues to be inspired by.”
The new commercial touts a Gucci-branded version of the Fiat 500. Starting at $23,500, the vehicle is sporty and brimming with European flair.