But the Bronx is a playground she couldn't find time to visit to shoot the ad -- so it faked her return to the old neighborhood, The Smoking Gun reports.
The site reports in a scathing report that a body double filled in for "Jenny from the block" during location shooting in the Bronx, New York City's poorest borough, while Lopez was filmed inside a Fiat 500 in Los Angeles.
That kind of fakery is typical in all productions, where a certain amount of sleight of hand is to be expected in the service of budgeting and timing. But it's ironic in the Bronx ad, in which Lopez -- whose songs include "I'm Real" -- lords her supposed street credibility over viewers.
"This is my world. This place inspires me,” Lopez says in a voiceover. "To be tougher, to stay sharper, to think faster."
"They may be just streets to you," she adds. "But to me they’re a playground."
Fiat was far from forthcoming about the deception, saying in a press release that the ad features Lopez "driving a Fiat 500 Cabrio as she travels through the streets of Manhattan to the Bronx where she grew up."
Representatives for Lopez and Chrysler, which produces the Fiat, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
The ad -- similar to Eminem's Super Bowl ad for Chrysler, in which he drove through the gritty streets of Detroit -- earned scores of media mentions, including by the Wall Street Journal, TSG notes.
In its most entertaining paragraphs, the story points out that the non-Lopez drives through a funhouse of stereotypes, from a boy drumming on a pail to kids playing in fire hydrants to girls double-dutching.
"It is such a breathtaking assemblage of hoary urban clichés, it’s a wonder that Lopez & Co. forgot to include a shot of some grizzled pensioners playing dominoes or a Puerto Rican enjoying some shaved ice," the story says.
Watch the ad: