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August 4, 2005 10:17 AM

Broken: Hennessy ad

MarvinjpgMichael Beckner points out this photo and adds:

Lemme get this straight: Hennessy, clearly "thinking different", uses Marvin Gaye's image to promote its hooch. Did nobody mention that this icon's life was cut tragically shot when he was shot by his alcoholic father?


I don't know if that's really broken per se, but definitely insensitive.

And oh yeah. First.

Posted by: Isaac at August 4, 2005 10:46 AM

definately, isaac i agree with you

and yeah


thank you

Posted by: noname at August 4, 2005 10:48 AM

3rd. If it you use that stuff it will make your father turn into an alcholic and shoot you.

Posted by: Unknown at August 4, 2005 11:02 AM

I think they broke Apple's Think Different campaign by ripping it off.

Posted by: ScottMelba at August 4, 2005 11:08 AM

Insensitive and broken. Not only that, for those (me included) that didn't recognize Marvin Gaye in the picture, the ad makes no sense. What's an African American guy to do with cognac and the phrase "never blend in"? Does it mean that African Americans don't blend in?

Broken, broken, broken......

Posted by: SAM at August 4, 2005 01:20 PM

Where did you get the information about his father being an alcoholic? As far as I know, his father (Reverend Marvin Gay, not Gaye) was a minister of the House of God, a sect with very strict conduct codes.

Posted by: Leonardo Herrera at August 4, 2005 02:19 PM

Sorry to disprove your theory...but Marvin Gaye's father was a minister who never drank liquor... period. The day that he shot Marvin, he was fed up with Marvin's persistent crack smoking and beligerent behavior. He also had been physically abusive to his mother. True, none of this is acceptable behavior...but a death sentence was a little harsh. P.S. I find this ad to be distasteful on every level. Plus Cognac blows.

Posted by: BOBO at August 4, 2005 02:23 PM

First, BOBO is right -- no proven alcoholism. Nonetheless, to use a cultural icon for shilling booze is reprehensible. What's worse is that Marvin did have personal struggles with substance abuse and his father was known to be eccentric, conservatively speaking.

Question: Does this larger context make the ad "blend in" only to stereotypes of African American family culture in the U.S.?

Oh, and the advertising firm is Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners. Feel free to tell them what's going on.

Posted by: Michael Beckner at August 4, 2005 02:50 PM

Don't blend in- Become famous and get shot by your dad.

This ad is terrible. I have nothing more to say.

Posted by: Bob at August 4, 2005 03:25 PM

and one other point to says to never blend in, but doesn't the bottle blend in with the background? shouldn't it contrast with the background if it says to never blend in? I don't know...I'm just looking at it from an artistic perspective..

Posted by: the dude at August 4, 2005 03:28 PM

and one other point to says to never blend in, but doesn't the bottle blend in with the background? shouldn't it contrast with the background if it says to never blend in? I don't know...I'm just looking at it from an artistic perspective..

Posted by: the dude at August 4, 2005 03:29 PM

Firstly, liquor billboards are very prominent in the inner-city and often display African-Americans, their target audience.

Secondly, Marvin Gaye was considered a bit of an iconoclast in his day, introducing themes in his music that reflected the rising political awareness of his fans.

Thirdly, a wink to Michael Beckner's slick reference.

Posted by: PatheticPeripatetic at August 4, 2005 05:02 PM

Wow Isac, noname and Unknown know how to count.

Posted by: Sean P at August 5, 2005 09:17 AM


"Marvin Sr. was a terminally out-of-work fundamentalist preacher who ranted against the sins of indulgence. Yet he was an avid consumer of vodka and a zealous cross-dresser."

Posted by: La at August 5, 2005 10:26 AM

What's broken is they forgot the Colt 45 and Newport cigarettes. And the watermelon. And the friend chicken. And what the hell is up with his dracula cape?

Posted by: sparky at August 6, 2005 12:10 AM

sean must be jealous


Posted by: noname at August 6, 2005 04:50 AM

no matter what is or can be said about his past, it is still sincerely fucked that this ad exists

Posted by: sheena at October 18, 2005 07:48 PM

What bugs me about ads like this is did Marvin Gaye come back from the dead to approve of any use of his image.

Posted by: Timm at October 24, 2005 02:12 AM

say it last night on my way home driving back into L.A. and had to get up this morning and look into yet another marketing meets conservative agenda ad...very upsetting....

Posted by: DC at October 30, 2005 12:51 PM

And I think that Marvin never really "blend into" the society.And I'm talking society in general-not white,black etc.The popped collar shows him as a rebell (just like Jimmy Dean -rebellious icon).The board means Never Blend In= BE UNUSUAL!

Posted by: Jake at November 11, 2005 09:34 AM

I saw this ad in Newark, NJ and from a distance at first thinking the guy was kind of sexy. As I got closer I could see it was Marvin Gaye and it brought tears to my eyes. It's such a beautiful picture, a clean and simple ad, but I think it's stupid to have a dead guy advertising anything. I had no idea there was a site that talked about these things. I remember the news story that said he was dead, now he's a face for Hennesy? I don't get it.

Posted by: Denine at December 2, 2005 04:15 PM


You're all taking the negative route towards this ad.

1. If you don't recognize him that's on you

2. The add say's never blend in because back when motown was manufaturing music, Marvin strode to have a different sound from all the doo waps. He strongly rebelled against Berry Gordy(founder of motown records) and the concept of manipulating his arts into what sold in the industry at the time. In a sense he never blended in.

3. ANd that stuff about his father and liquor is wrong

4. Besides there is nothing wrong with responsible drinking (nonetheless I don't drink)

5. If marvins siblings could some money is from this that's good also.

6. The add Clearly aims those who understood marvin perhaps most likely Jazz, Blues musicians who don't always want their sound to blend in.

Posted by: miguel at February 24, 2006 02:47 PM

these billboards are all over detroit, mi (motown, don't forget). it's sadly ironic.

Posted by: vale-day at April 4, 2006 05:21 PM

I've seen this ad on the highway and in magazines. It bothers me that they used a troubled deceased man to advertise alcohol in Black cities and magazines. Who approved this? Ain't that peculiar?

Posted by: ProfessorB at April 19, 2006 09:52 AM

Saturday, June 10, 2006

As well as complaining, write your disappointments to Hennessy, either by e-mail, or snail mail.

I just discovered this ad on 125th Street, in Harlem, NYC. When I saw this I wanted to scream. There are no commercial artists now who have a message in their music like Marvin, Curtis and a host of others. This is on the Soul Music side, as well as the Rock ‘n Roll side. We cannot let them do this to our icons. We seem to be the only people who have no say so about our lives, communities, heroes, politics, etc, etc.

Don't let them do this. Miles Davis is supposed to be part of this advertisement campaign, as well.

Write To: ''

Don't let them get away with this. It's not right!


Posted by: Robyn at June 11, 2006 01:21 AM

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