Unsolicited Personal Image Advice for Jennifer Lopez: Film a Bike Ad

Before Streetsblog goes offline for the Thanksgiving weekend, I’d like to reiterate my unsolicited advice for Jennifer Lopez: There is an easy and, I believe, highly effective way to control the damage from the revelation that you did not actually film this Fiat 500 Cabrio commercial on the streets of the Bronx.

For those just tuning in, The Smoking Gun broke this story last night. J Lo filmed her close-ups for the Fiat spot in Los Angeles, while a body double kept the driver’s seat warm for the actual footage from the Bronx, and a digital effects firm added a few touches of computer-generated boogie-down fakery — all to make it seem like Lopez was actually driving around her old neighborhood, on the streets that “inspire” her.

The sophisticated operation to spare J Lo from having to venture out to her home borough is not just great NYC tabloid fodder — it’s national news. So, on to the image rehab advice, which is pretty simple: J Lo needs to film a bike ad in the Bronx. Here are three reasons why this is a great idea:

  1. Big points for being down to earth. The suggested retail price of the Fiat 500 Cabrio is $26,000. It’s not a Benz, but it’s kind of an ostentatious display when you can get just about anywhere you need to go in NYC with an unlimited Metrocard and a bike. Even a very nice new city bike, if J Lo were to pitch one, won’t set you back more than $600 to $1,200.
  2. The playing-with-kids scenes will be way more believable. Even before The Smoking Gun story came out, the Fiat ad didn’t exactly scream authenticity. That part where the kids run and skip next to a moving motor vehicle with J Lo inside? Didn’t seem fun. A group ride with J Lo would actually look like a good time.
  3. Trendsetting. As far as I know, there are no big-time celebrity endorsement deals with the major bike manufacturers, nor are there any bike ads on TV. Probably because the bike industry has a lot less to throw around than the car companies. J Lo wouldn’t be doing this bike spot for the payday, she’d do it to be a pioneer.

I say this all as a big “Out of Sight” fan and a devout viewer of American Idol Season 10 (at least until Haley got voted off). And I didn’t even get to the part about biking being healthy, good for the environment, and a much better fit than personal motorized transport for the Bronx streets that inspire J Lo.

  • Anonymous

    I have always marveled at TV commercials for cars, supposedly filmed in an urban setting, are driving on empty or almost empty streets and open roads. What planet do they come from?

  • Anonymous

    The majority of the bicycle companies in North America make sport bikes. The ones who sell any kind of sit up style, city bike need to pool together to make ads, I think.Even with the European companies.

  • Chris

    Yes, and with the Classic Schwinn guys like Carlos

  • Jabir

    Love the tag line at the end of the spot:

    “Life is better when driven”

  • Joe R.

    @Mat50:disqus I was thinking the same thing.  Maybe there should be truth in advertising.  Have car ads where driving in Manhattan is bumper to bumper, and takes longer than walking.

  • Dave

    I don’t know why anyone is shocked that the scenes with Jennifer Lopez were shot in LA and a body double was used for the NYC shots. Think of all the movies that have been made that look as if they have been shot  in the same city the story tales place when in reality it was made in Canada or Eastern Europe.

    This is nothing more than much ado about nothing.

  • Niceat30

    Ugly little woman in an ugly little car. 

  • J-Lo always struck me as more of an SUV kind of gal especially since he had twins.

  • Think of all the traffic they caused when they filmed that.

  • Kevin

    Yeah right you’d ever be able to drive that smoothly in the city, forget about it!

  • Jay

    @a3692ac59ce5a98d173a8d9131232208:disqus I completely disagree.  This is very different, since the whole ad was a personal endorsement based on the narrative about how inspired she is by her old neighborhood.  When it turns out she won’t even go there, it exposes the whole lie.  

    That’s quite different than a piece of fiction using a stand-in location to produce a setting for entertainment purposes.

  • Dave

    Jay, commercials are just a 30 second version of entertainment. Entertainment is about fantasy and escapism.Who is the biggest producer of fantasy, advertising. Drink this beer or use this body spray  and hot women will find you desirable. Use this perfume or wear this underwear and men with washboard abs will fulfill your every wish.

    Unlike American commercials for major commercial goods, in Asia and Europe famous spokespeople are very common. Many of them are American entertainers.

    This unsolicited advice came from Ben Fried, who periodically offers his unsolicited and incredulous advice in similar posts. So its hard to take him seriously. Ben, still waiting to see the results of his crack investigation about the Public Relations girl who claimed she was stopped by NYPD for riding ina short skirt.

  • bupkus

    This commercial was really well crafted… as far as cutting in shots of JLo behind the wheel. There is a real sense of detachment that I felt watching it.
    Is it because I’m a cyclist, and I didn’t get the visceral sense of her tooling around her old neighborhood? I’d like the car, if it were 20k less, and ran on bio-diesel. ha ha ha
    It’s a lot scarier to ride a bike in L.A., than in the Bronx. pot holes aside..
    I think you’re right. Jenny from the block should give some bike love and props to the real streets, be it L.A. or Miami, or NYC, or even the Bronx…

  • bupkus
  • Jay

    Sorry @a3692ac59ce5a98d173a8d9131232208:disqus , but you’ve just got it wrong.  This was not a lifestyle ad (which is a form of fiction), but rather an endorsement based on this celebrity’s personal narrative.  Viewers understand the difference, and reasonably have different expectations.

    When celebrities get caught lying about what they do, they damage their “brands.”

  • carma

    i can think of 50 things to do that would be more productive than to 
    1. argue or not whether this ad was shot in the bronx.   
    2. to argue whether or not it was really j-lo.  
    3. to even suggest that she redeem herself by shooting a bike commercial.

    seriously folks.  this debate is getting stoopid.  she is actress/singer.  she gets PAID to do these things.  she probably wouldnt be caught dead in a fiat anyways.



South Bronx Greenway Construction Gets Underway This Summer

A rendering of plans for Lafayette Avenue, with a planted median, standard painted bike lanes, and amenities along an expanded sidewalk. Image: NYCEDC Construction is set to begin on the first stages of the South Bronx Greenway this summer, marking the first tangible results of a community-based, bottom-up campaign for more livable streets. The project […]