->''"You celebrities need to realize that the public owns you for life! And after you're dead, you'll all be in commercials dancing with vacuum cleaners."''
-->-- '''Homer Simpson''', ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''

There was a point when the UncannyValley was theoretical. Today, we have proof. [[GoneHorriblyRight Horrible, horrible proof.]] Computers have given producers incredible abilities to manipulate images and create breathtaking effects for film and television audiences. However this power has a very controversial dark side.

Famous but long dead celebrities have been digitally resurrected to lend their endorsements to numerous commercial products. Photographs or scenes from their filmed appearances are digitally processed to show them interacting with various products or people hawking those products. These appearances aren't limited to film and TV stars. Historical figures have given their digital support to numerous products and services as well.

The use of dead celebrities' images has diminished over the past decade, especially in North America. This is in part due to the public's growing distaste for the trend, but another influence has been the implementation of inconsistent personality right laws across the continent that leave advertisers unsure as to whether they need to obtain expensive permission from a dead celebrity's estate to use the deceased's image. Twelve states (and Quebec in Canada) have laws on the books that prohibit the unauthorized use of such images, but the length of time these rights exist after death varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and in most states the use of an image in a "work of art" is excluded - but in most cases nobody has defined whether advertisements are works of art. It's easier just to hire a double.

A variation of this is to use historical footage of said celebrities from when they were still alive.


* In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfvproRmoF0 this TNT ad for the NBA]], players from various eras of basketball were digitally added into shots to make it seem like they were playing together (Steve Nash meeting Pete Maravich, Larry Bird assisting Ray Allen, Magic Johnson playing alongside Kobe Bryant, Derek Rose fist-bumping Michael Jordan, etc). Granted, most of these players are still alive, but it doubles as a [[{{Crowning Moment of Heartwarming}} heartwarming moment]] to see all these greats together in their prime.
** Gatorade did a similar thing in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97dMpta3fKQ one of their ads]], illustrating that timing is everything. Included are depictions of Michael Jordan missing The Shot, that famous Derek Jeter relay a fraction off with the runner scoring, and Dwight Clark unable to haul in The Catch.
* Creator/FredAstaire (1899-1987) danced with a Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner. Incidentally, this is what Homer Simpson was referring to in the page quote.
* Music/PaulaAbdul danced with Creator/GeneKelly (1912-1996) and [[Creator/TheMarxBrothers Groucho Marx]] (1890-1977). Creator/CaryGrant (1904-1986) poured her a DietCoke when she was finished. [[http://youtube.com/watch?v=B9_Yjt9XYxo See it here.]]
** It's actually a "sequel" to an earlier spot with Music/EltonJohn, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiHZ7xolk3I other dead people]].
** Creator/GeneKelly was likely still alive when this was filmed, but a ''lot'' older.
* And speaking of Gene Kelly, he was made to breakdance to a remix of his own "Film/SinginInTheRain" in [[http://youtube.com/watch?v=G4LzG3XZMUA this Volkswagen ad]].
** Later, Gene was teamed up with his ''Film/SinginInTheRain'' co-star (and fellow grave-rester) Donald O'Connor in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXksZAKzJpc another Volkswagen ad]].
* ''Every single'' Presidents Day will bring commercials showing ''UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington'' and ''UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln'' pitching Presidents' Day sales, most of them for car dealers.
* Creator/JohnWayne (1907-1979) hawked Coors beer.
** And Great Western Savings and Loan...before it was acquired by Washington Mutual...before it was acquired by Chase Manhattan.
* Steve [=McQueen=] (1930-1980) showed up in a ''Film/FieldOfDreams''-style commercial for Ford Mustang.
** And also in a UK commercial for Ford, where he appeared to be driving it during the ''Film/{{Bullitt}}'' chase sequence.
* Creator/BobMonkhouse did some [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmWtzfKcMpA cancer awareness ads]], four years after his death from cancer. These were with the full permission of his family. They have been followed up with carriage ads on UsefulNotes/TheLondonUnderground, complete with "six feet under" jokes.
* The less said about "[[UncannyValley Evil Undead Orville Redenbacher]]", the better.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fcn4p213Zg8 You can't unsee this]]. Serious NightmareFuel.
---> '''"[[http://www.cracked.com/article_17093_10-awesome-ads-for-traumatizing-children_p2.html Hello, I'm an abomination against nature, and I'm here to give you a heart attack.]]"'''
* For one McDonalds promotion where BIC ball-point pens were given away, Creator/MarkTwain appeared in a commercial to promote them; he was joined by Creator/WilliamShakespeare at the end of it.
* Shakespeare also appeared in a commercial for Klondike Bars, where the {{narrator}} asked him if [[FoodAsBribe he would write a television sitcom for a Klondike Bar.]]
* Music/ElvisPresley appeared in a mid-90's Pizza Hut commercial.
* Creator/AudreyHepburn advertised for the Gap in 2006 after a 13-year dirt nap.
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx9eDoS76LM And in a 2013 UK Galaxy Chocolate (Dove chocolate in the U.S.) ad.]] In fact, this Audrey Hepburn is entirely CGI. WordOfGod is that they tried to use a combination of a look-alike and animation but instead decided to use all CGI.
* Nando's South Africa produced a somewhat [[TearJerker tearjerking]] advert featuring [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1EX--vdxh4 Mugabe and several of his deceased dictator friends.]] The dictators included UsefulNotes/MuammarGaddafi, UsefulNotes/SaddamHussein, UsefulNotes/IdiAmin, and South Africa's own P. W. Botha.
* A variation: When Creator/YulBrynner learned he was dying of lung cancer, he filmed [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNjunlWUJJI this PSA, to be shown after his death.]]
** [[Creator/BillHicks Though they didn't do one for Jim Fixx]]
** A similar PSA was done by [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmjRkpge-jk William Talman]] of ''Franchise/PerryMason''.
* Justified in Canadian meat company Schneider's adverts, in which ''actual footage'' of founder Mr. Joseph Schneider himself is used. He says its slogan, "You can taste the difference quality makes".
* Inverted in an ad for a charity campaign, in which a regular guy asked for money for some cause and ended saying "Or would you only help us if ''she'' asked you?" while holding a mask of [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfWindsor Princess Diana]] up to his face.
* The use of actors playing dead US presidents is a long tradition in US advertising, especially in February around President's Day. Now, CGI presidents are becoming common.
* A British ad campaign featured real footage of Music/EdithPiaf singing "Je ne regrette rien." Instead of an accurate translation, the subtitles claimed she's singing that there's actually one thing she does regret- she could have got cheap glasses from Specsavers.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwZT4tGKfJQ&fmt=37 A 2009 commercial]] for the charity One Laptop Per Child took the phenomenon in a new direction, not only [[YokoOhNo using]] Music/JohnLennon's image, but ''digitally manipulating his voice'' to create an original statement. [[HilariousInHindsight Remember when that was a farfetched plot device in season 2 of]] ''[[Series/TwentyFour 24]]''? ScienceMarchesOn.
** Lennon was also used as part of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9WkEqPEA58 a Citroën car "anti-retro" advert]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHhmA3T1U0I as was]] Creator/MarilynMonroe.
** Not only did they bring back Lennon and Music/GeorgeHarrison for this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-qt5szlQ_U commercial]] for ''VideoGame/RockBand: Music/TheBeatles'', but they brought back Music/PaulMcCartney and Music/RingoStarr when they were young!
* Creator/MarilynMonroe was also used in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXrWiJcmvBI&feature=player_embedded the Dior J'adore]] PerfumeCommercial, along with Creator/MarleneDietrich and Creator/GraceKelly. Dietrich and Kelly look fine, but Monroe falls '''hard''' into the UncannyValley.
* When Music/JeffWayne revived his RockOpera of ''[[Music/JeffWaynesMusicalVersionOfTheWarOfTheWorlds The War of the Worlds]]'' as a stage production in the late 2000s, a holographic image of the late Sir Creator/RichardBurton, who played [[AuthorAvatar the Journalist]] on the album, was [[http://youtu.be/W8JLqsbK5V0 projected onstage to narrate]]. An actor with a similar facial structure was recruited to lip-sync the part, [[SerkisFolk with Burton's image superimposed over his movements.]]
* After Creator/JimVarney died, Cerritos Auto Square faced some local controversy when they revived their Film/ErnestPWorrell commercials starting on the day of Varney's death. It was later found that they did this as a favor to his family, as Varney had always been fond of his work in those commercials.
* OlderThanRadio: There was an advertising campaign in the nineteenth century with a poster featuring UsefulNotes/{{Tutankhamun}} climbing out of his coffin and offering a bewildered lady and gentleman the all-curing Mummy Powder.
* A 2000 commercial for the U.S. Sacajawea dollar coin had UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington (who was green, like on the dollar bill) promoting it, saying it was just as good as the dollar bill.
** Voiced by Creator/MichaelKeaton.
* [=DirecTV=] have been running a series of ads combining edited pieces of old films with new footage of an actor from the film (Creator/ChristopherLloyd endorsing it dressed as [[Franchise/BackToTheFuture Doc Brown]] combined with footage of the [=DeLorean=], for instance). Controversially, a couple of these ads have also involved editing in dead co-stars: First Craig T. Nelson did one interacting with footage of the late Heather O'Rourke from ''Film/{{Poltergeist}}'', then [[http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2009/10/26/david-spade-brings-pal-chris-farley-back-from-the-dead-to-shill/?icid=main David Spade did the same]] with footage of Creator/ChrisFarley taken from ''TommyBoy''.
* Harland "Colonel" Sanders (1890 - 1980) would eventually be animated as a dancing mascot voiced by RandyQuaid to continue selling UsefulNotes/KentuckyFriedChicken.
** There was another commercial aired in the early 90s. We see a man in a Col. Sanders suit (the camera never shows his face) as he looks through some papers in a 50s era kitchen and grumbles about not being able to find a certain recipe. We then pan to a piece of paper stuck behind the table and the words "To be continued...". After a few weeks the second half of the commercial is shown, in which a modern day KFC employee is in the kitchen - now a museum - and finds the paper which allegedly is the Colonel's recipe for grilled chicken.
** Quaid himself played Col. Sanders in a few live action KFC commercials in the early 90s.
** In 2015, they launched a new series of ads with a live-action Darrell Hammond, of ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' fame, portraying Colonel Sanders, reportedly as part of a campaign to try to boost struggling sales that have been lost to Chick-Fil-A. The campaign was instantly reviled (though more due to its terrible, aggressive attempts at anti-humor than anything else), and fellow ''SNL'' alum Norm [=MacDonald=] quickly stepped in to play a more low-key Colonel; while this change was ''slightly'' better received by some, the consensus by most was that the campaign was just generally a bad idea.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8dLHZ6jKFc This Greenpeace ad]] features a CGI-animated UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy complete with robotic voice talking about global warming. Dead President + CreepyMonotone + bad lipsyncing = NightmareFuel.
* Averted with Dave Thomas, founder and CEO of Wendy's, who starred in countless commercials for his fast-food chain. After his death, all commercials featuring him were pulled and there has been no attempt to reuse old footage or his image in new advertising. [[ReplacementScrappy His daughter]], after whom the restaurant chain is named, has basically replaced him as pitchman.
* Also averted with Creator/BillyMays; his commercials have slowly been phased out, or manipulated to feature different salespeople in his place for full-body shots.
** A commercial starts with Billy Mays, then switches to Anthony Sullivan, a close friend of him, with the Mays ad inset into the background. Sullivan uses the fact that Mays used to advertise [=OxiClean=] as a selling point for the product, as well as carrying on Mays' legacy on the product with respect.
* {{Nike}} created a stir by broadcasting an ad in which the voice of Tiger Woods's dead father, Earl Woods, seemingly chastises him for his infidelities. The audio came from a 2004 documentary, and Earl Woods is actually talking about differences between himself and his wife/Tiger's mother.
* A political advertisement used the Historical Footage variation, starting with UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy giving a political speech, and a modern-day politician finishing the same speech.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wxf1h0YrDE&feature=related This car commercial]] features [[AnachronismStew a lot of historical (mostly communist) revolutionaries]]. (Including UsefulNotes/FidelCastro, who isn't even dead yet! At least as of this writing.)
** Even more hilarious ([[DudeNotFunny or offensive]]), is apparently the fact that you're ''supposed to want'' to buy their car by having it associated with people who have killed millions. [[DoubleStandard Imagine if it was]] [[GodwinsLaw Hitler,]] UsefulNotes/FranciscoFranco, and UsefulNotes/BenitoMussolini [[DoubleStandard used in the ad.]]
* A one third example: During TheWorldCup 2010, a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebsLkj21ECQ German Volkswagen ad]] featured the football players Fritz Walter, Paul Breitner and Rudi Völler in form of manipulated footage from the the era when the respective player's team did win the cup. Breitner and Völler are still alive, but Walter deceased in 2002.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r6Nxcae_7s Braun made]] a 1996 commercial starring [[TheHoneymooners Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton]], and it was a relative cinch, since they took footage from an episode in which they're already shilling a kitchen tool. (Art "Ed" Carney was still alive then, and in fact even recorded a few ADR lines for the ad; Jackie "Ralph" Gleason, not so much.)
** Incidentally, this [[http://books.google.co.th/books?id=KWYEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA64&lpg=PA64&dq=braun+honeymooners&source=bl&ots=3EnD6-3iZ8&sig=2PSjj4qwz31NyyrRi5rRLkzrXRw&hl=th&ei=ue6qTPaIPM2XcYv7qMEI&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=12&ved=0CFEQ6AEwCw# Popular Mechanics article]] talks about how the Astaire, Wayne, and Gleason ads were made.
* In 2010 a Chinese lingerie company put up a series of billboards [[http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/38958169/ns/today-today_people/?gt1=43001 featuring the late Princess Diana]] clad in their undies. On the 13th anniversary of her death, no less.
* During the 2011 American version of ''Series/TheXFactor'', Pepsi debuted an ad featuring footage of Music/RayCharles and Music/MichaelJackson. However, it was not digitally altered; it was actual footage of commercials they made for the soft drink.
* The Japanese made [[Music/{{Queen}} Freddie Mercury]] sound like he was born to eat [[http://youtu.be/y0wMYT_p5k0 Cup Noodles]].
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IcGvBE5xfg This ad for pistachios]], starring [[MemeticMutation Keyboard Cat]]. The cat used in the ad is a different one from the original video, but is refered to as Keyboard Cat, as in THE Keyboard Cat, who died in 1987.
* Johnnie Walker created a Chinese ad in which a CGI BruceLee walked around an empty apartment/loft/hotel room and delivered a bit of a motivational dialogue in Mandarin Chinese. Two problems: 1) Bruce spoke Cantonese, not Mandarin and 2) Bruce Lee didn't drink.
* Chicago-based Empire Carpet continues to use the likeness of former pitchman Lynn Hauldren (in CGI form) in its TV commercials, even though Hauldren passed away in 2011.
* In 2012, Macy's premiered a Christmas commercial that seamlessly manipulated footage of the late Edmund Gwenn as [[Film/MiracleOnThirtyFourthStreet Kris Kringle]] to interact with modern-day celebrities such as Music/JessicaSimpson, Music/JustinBieber and Music/TaylorSwift.
* Mazda had a 2014 advertisement, using images of Creator/BruceLee, Creator/HenriDeToulouseLautrec, and Hervé Villechaize to advertise various products in the carmaker's stable.
* {{Hulu}} Japan used film critic [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1hJaMUFU0o&t=8m10s Nagaharu Yodogawa]], who died in 1998, to tell that your family can watch ''Film/JurassicPark'', ''Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial'' and ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'' free for the first two weeks. It averts UncannyValley by rendering Yodogawa in a low poly model (similar to Professor Kawashima's head in ''VideoGame/BrainAge''), but still uses audio editing for his speech.
-->'''Yodogawa''': Isn't that cute? Isn't that cute?

* ''VideoGame/GuitarHero World Tour'' features Music/JimiHendrix as a playable character. Unlike the other playable versions of real musicians (Zakk Wylde, Music/OzzyOsbourne, {{Sting}}, et. al.), who were personally digitized and [[MotionCapture mo-capped]] for the sake of authenticity, Jimi was presumably recreated from photos and mo-capped by a professional impersonator.
** Also, in ''Guitar Hero 5'', Music/JohnnyCash and Music/KurtCobain are playable characters, both who were mo-capped by impersonators. Much hilarity ([[CrossesTheLineTwice of the wrong kind]]), FanDumb-raging and CourtneyLove pissing-off ensued when it turned out that those two could be used in '''any''' song.
** ''Music/TheBeatles: VideoGame/RockBand'' features the two dead Beatles, Music/JohnLennon and Music/GeorgeHarrison, although the game would be epic bullcrap if it didn't. ''[[LegoAdaptationGame Lego Rock Band]]'' also features the likenesses of the band Music/{{Queen}} as Lego avatars, including the late Freddie Mercury, although having him appear in adorable Lego form is a lot less insensitive.
* The Canadian audio comedy group Radio Free Vestibule did a skit in 1995 called "LaurenceOlivier for Diet Coke", which purported to be an ad for Diet Coke assembled by splicing together things Laurence Olivier said in his many films and interviews. ("I wish I could have some now. But I can't, because I'm dead!")
** It became HilariousInHindsight when the real Laurence appeared in ''Film/SkyCaptainAndTheWorldOfTomorrow''.
* The restaurant chain Moe's ([[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons not that one]]) used to adorn its shops with posters of various musicians, both living and dead. They eventually had to pull all of the posters after being sued by the estate of one of the musicians. At first, they replaced the artwork with generic music-themed images, then later used pictures of celebrity look-alikes... with the disclaimer that there is no implied endorsement by any actual celebrities whom the pictures might resemble.

* This is actually the driving plot point for one of the segments of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' 2008 HalloweenEpisode, "How to Get Ahead in Dead-Vertising". Homer gets a job killing celebrities (such as Creator/GeorgeClooney, Music/{{Prince}}, and Neil Armstrong) for corporations so they can use their likeness in advertisements (along with the likenesses of celebrities who have been long dead such as UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington and UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln); when their spirits and those of other dead icons find out that they've been reduced to postmortem shills, they come after him.
** Also referenced when Krusty becomes an [[GenreShift edgy stand-up comedian]] and briefly discusses the trope in a routine. "You've got poor old Creator/VincentPrice floating around in a toilet keg telling me about the ''horrors'' of an unfresh bowl!"
* In ''VideoGame/DeusEx'', UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} is seen on a billboard advertising a brand of cigarettes: Holy Smokes! (Apparently, "They're [[{{Crunchtastic}} saviorific]]!")
* In Thane's loyalty mission in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', you learn that a two-bit criminal has been selling buggy illegal [=VIs=] of [[PlayerCharacter Shepard]] while the latter was dead (s/he got better). You can convince him to give Shepard a copy or a cut of the profits.
** Shepard can also give his/her endorsements to various (even claiming every one of them is his/her favorite) stores in the Citadel, making him/her a ''literal'' example of this trope.
** The Alliance themselves got in on the action using Shepard's likeness to advertise joining their military, however it apparently fell through by the time Shep came back.
* Near the end of the "Year of the Bastard" arc in ''{{Transmetropolitan}}'', the late beloved Senator Longmarch's image and voice are used in a ''political ad'' endorsing would-be candidate Gary Callahan; Spider remarks that the nomination must be in the bag already for them to be stooping to such tactics without fear of backlash.
* In "Mike Tyson Grill," a ''Series/{{MadTV}}'' parody of the George Foreman Grill, Abraham Lincoln advertises the grill, though it's actually the same guy who is playing Mike Tyson dressed up as Lincoln.
* In chargesdotcomdotbr, there's an animation of Creator/SteveJobs recording commercials before his death to be used after it. It was a TakeThat to the fact Apple products tend to be more compact than previous models.
* ''Webcomic/{{Mulberry}}'' provides a literal example when they reveal that the then-latest [[spoiler: Orville Redenbacher]] commercials star a zombie![[spoiler: Reddenbacher (sic)]].
* Briefly touched upon in [[http://www.toughpigs.com/bttf/ this]] {{Zeerust}}-y article about Franchise/TheMuppets, made in celebration of [[Film/BackToTheFuture the day Marty goes into the future]] and set in an alternate 2015, where the old [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtId1k-sYfo Royal Crown Cola Muppet birds]] are set to be voiced by Creator/JimHenson "using the latest computer-generated voice technology" and "in a way that is state-of-the-art and not at all creepy" as part of their resurrection for a new Royal Crown campaign.
* The Colonel Sanders example is parodied in the ''WhatACartoonShow'' short "Podunk Possum in: One Step Beyond", where the protagonist is harassed by a [[CaptainErsatz character]] on a fast food commercial who is also a ghost!
-->'''Podunk Possum:''' I don't want fried chicken, I like eggs! And why are you so mean?\\
'''Colonel:''' 'Cause I'm dead!