Saturday, May 28, 2005

:: adgruntie :: Dead Celebs ready to shill

+ Dead celebrities helping out advertisers. Newly opened Jack Kerouac Lofts in Denver prompted this piece on using celebrities who have passed on in advertising.
"The right celebrity creates a sense of quality or value of interest to the brand," says Richard Lancioni, a professor at Temple University's Fox School of Business and Management. "It's the idea of standing the test of time ... an idea of trustworthiness."

A dead celebrity's image also tends to be fixed, negating fears about an ad campaign imploding because of scandal. A living athlete's boozing and womanizing would be a marketer's nightmare. For Babe Ruth, dead since 1948, it's merely part of the legend, so why not trot him out for Citibank ads?

Enamored as we are of celebrities, not any dead icon will do. A few rules apply.

"Generally these ads are effective, but the celebrity does need to be recognized by as wide a range of the audience as possible, and certainly by the target audience," Lancioni says. "Marilyn Monroe is an icon that cuts across several generations. Elvis Presley does too."
I suppose that's true. Although there is something a bit creepy about the dead coming back to life to shill for some product that most likely they'd never have done when they were Frank Sinatra and that Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner ad from a few years back.

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