A Phantasmic Experience: Narrative Connection of Dead Celebrities in Advertisements

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Abstract: Featuring dead celebrities in current advertisements has become a well-known practice in contemporary advertising techniques. Marilyn Monroe sells Sunsilk, John Lennon is a spokesman for One Laptop per Child, Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor demonstrate the roominess of a Jetta's now larger backseat. To unearth the viability of re-structuring dead celebrities into new advertisements, this article analyzes how phantasms – visual and vocal recordings – speak to the living consumer through the construction of emplotment, a main element of Paul Ricoeur's narrative theory. Particularly, Ricoeur's work on mimesis, metaphors, and memories direct this inquiry for these terms shape a phenomenological understanding of temporality and connectivity with a disembodied other. The goal of such exploration aims to link dead celebrities with the construction and transmission of persuasive messages within an advertising narrative framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-400
Number of pages18
JournalCulture, Theory and Critique
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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