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Bringing Back the “Dead”

As of late, there have been campaigns featuring the deceased rich and famous. Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly for Dior and Audrey Hepburn for Galaxy Chocolate immediately spring to mind. The technology is becoming more readily available with holograms and moving media being things of the present and deceased appearing in what seems like real time for all to see.

What are the possible positive and negative effects as well as moral dilemmas that may be associated with these promotional materials?

First off, I feel that for the promotions to be well received, the stars of the past must be displayed in a way that is in line with their previous image. For example, the classiness of the Dior No. 5 ad is effective because it is immediately associated with the image of Marilyn Monroe that has been solidified for years. A marketer must be careful about the context and target market of these ads for them to be successful and not offensive.

It may be less expensive for a firm to pay an estate rather than a live star however some debate arises when discussing what the consent would have been from the deceased. It is impossible to say for certain without documentation from the deceased, about what they would decide. For many, this technology would not have even been fathomable when wills were written and executed. Who decides what is okay and what is not? Would this have been a violation in the eyes of the passed stars? This is something that is evaluated on a case by case basis, however a marketing firm may deem it necessary to asses its moral values before pursuing this kind of promotional material.

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