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Dead man walking (in the ad)

July 18, 2005 at 11:00 by Martina Comments

In this post I point you to “In search of the right dead celebrity“, an article where Anna Heinemann investigates the use deceased entertainers as stars in TV spots. Marketing Evaluation even compiled a chart of “dead celebrity likeability”, with Lucille Ball and Bob Hope leading the way. The main question is of course: do people still recognize dead celebrity in ads? Apparently the answer is yes, at least for what concerns the US market.


I don’t know how valuable my opinion is, but I loved the Volkswagen ad with Gene Kelly dancing in the rain, and I also enjoyed the recent Virgin Trains tv spot full of dead celebrities (even though I did not recognize all of them). In the end I believe the value is linked to the context in which you place the celebrity. It’s not just a question of showing a famous (although dead) face, the important thing is how and where you present it.

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