Industry News: Lennon is AlivePosted on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009
Twenty-one years after Nike used The Beatles "Revolution" in a commercial and twenty-eight after is death, John Lennon finds himself in another TV spot. And he actually finds himself in it - not just his song.
Yep, following the lead of Orville Redenbacher Popcorn's unearthing and digitizing Orville himself or an ad campaign a couple years ago, a non-profit organization has decided to bring Lennon from he grave to implore audiences to donate laptops to needy children. And this has created a mini-controversy in the marketing world.
Though the cause is admirable, it is a little creepy to hear and then see the deceased Beatle iscussing a technological tool that didn't exist until over a decade after his death. And there are seemingly some Orwellian boundaries this ad pushes. Lennon may very well have supported this cause had he been alive - but is that for a marketer (and Yoko) to decide? And though he may support the cause, would Lennon support putting assumed words into the mouth of deceased
celebrities and using them to push a cause posthumously?
It seems like merely using Lennon's image or one of his songs would have been enough. That in itself would given the spot and cause the credibility it was looking for. Having Lennon digitally speak these words seems to take it a little too far, and looks like an ad agency trying to show-off. But then again, using merely a song or image likely wouldn't have garnered the talk value that using Lennon has. Which has also likely led to more laptop donations. Which is ultimately the point.
So, this spot very well may be a success. But does that it make right? I'm not sure. But as long as this doesn't start a new trend and we soon see Jerry Garcia selling BK Whoppers or Tupac shilling for Kia, then this one is okay with me.