Smash 1970s television hit The Fonz is coming back to UK television screens courtesy of Citroen which is using characters such as Arthur ‘Fonzie’ Fonzarelli, Mr and Mrs Cunningham, Joanie, Potsie, Ralph and the familiar Al’s Diner location to promote its updated C3 supermini range.

The 30-second ad, created in the UK, features the heads of cast members, taken from original footage from the series, digitally transplanted onto the bodies of modern actors.

Various scenes, shot at locations similar to those in the show, including Al’s diner and a drive-in movie, are then played out on screen.

Citroen UK has a deserved reputation for innovative TV ads. Its current ‘Transformer’ ad for the C4 is widely circulated amongst computer users – along with a version from an unknown source that stars an old disintegrating 2CV in place of the latest C4.

However, the new Happy Days ad is not quite so innovative.

Several years ago, Ford ‘revived’ the late Steve McQueen to reprise the famous Bullit movie car chase through San Francisco to launch the Fiesta-based Puma coupe. The ad digitally plucked McQueen from his original 1960s Mustang and put him into the small European Ford model. Ford also held the car’s press launch in the Californian city.

The “Happy Days” ad, scheduled to make its TV debut on October 10 (7.15pm on ITV1) is clever, but only a variation of the now-familiar old-star-in-new car theme.

Graeme Roberts

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