Classic stars breathe new life into ads

October 5, 2008 at 10:15 am | Posted in Other, Stars | 2 Comments

In the past it was considered a taboo to publicly talk about the dead. No more. An increasing number of businesses are turning to deceased icons to help sell their products.

Putting aside question of political-correctness when using dead people in ads, so-called “deceased (star) marketing” is proving itself to be a successful marketing strategy.

It is definitely an unusual penchant for Confucianism-originated Korea, where those who have passed away are considered sacred and should be left alone.

The latest example of deceased star marketing comes from LG Electronics Inc. in promoting its “Secret” mobile phone. One of its commercial versions uses a clip from the classic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” The company aimed to invoke people’s undying love for Audrey Hepburn to sell products. In the television commercial, instead of staring at jewelry inside a Tiffany’s window, Hepburn gazes at the “Secret” phone. The cell phone was released in June and nearly 200,000 units have been sold in since then, according to Park Seung-goo of LG Electronics’ public relations office.

“The phone is also being released in other parts of Asia and Europe, and the reactions are already positive, with the media there calling it an innovative product,” Park said.

Between February and June this year, Hungkuk Ssangyong Fire and Marine Insurance tried to spice up its insurance ads — not an easy thing to do. The company used late comedian Lee Joo-il in commercials for its “Eyou Direct” car insurance policy.

For maximum effect, Hungkuk dubbed in dialogue from one of Lee’s films to make it sound as if the comedian was talking about the product. Lee, a comedy sensation while alive, passed away in 2002 of lung cancer.

Satisfied with the results of using the late comedian, Hungkuk has now “cast” the legendary Bruce Lee in its newsiest commercials, which started airing Sept. 19.

The new advertisement features Bruce Lee from one of his movies. Between fight scenes, editing and subtitles make it seem as if Bruce Lee is actually promoting the product and its inexpensiveness.

The advertisements are legal, with the companies paying royalties to rights holders, most of whom are children and family of the deceased.

Timeless popularity and familiarity — which sometimes invokes nostalgia — make late celebrities a popular object for advertising companies, experts said.

“First of all, in Korea, most of the existing big models have already occupied most fields in the (advertising) industry. By using legendary stars who have passed away, businesses can not only save money but can also effectively make an issue out of their advertisements,” said editor Song Eun-a of Public Interest Project Division of the Korea Broadcast Advertising Corporation.

By using friendly figures from the past, the nostalgia felt by the viewers often leads to favorable sentiment and raises brand recognition.

Some observers, however, caution that using famous idols in commercials may prompt a negative image of the companies, especially among long-time fans.

“The commercials did make me better recognize the brand and product, but I was actually offended that the (late stars) were used in the advertisements. It felt like the value of money overrode the honor of the deceased,” said Kim Shi-hyung, a 29-year-old office worker in Seoul.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. used its deceased founder Chung Chu-young in television commercials earlier this year, while Kia Motors used James Dean to promote its SUV “Sportage.”

Source: Korea Herald
Please take out only with credit and do not add any credits.



RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. I see their strategy and I don’t like it >/

  2. well over in england there is so much audrey memrobilia , and elvis..and so many more celebs who’ve passed away…koreans are too touchy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: