Further Looting of the Dead Celebs

About a month ago, I wrote a blog on brand immortality and the way that people are exploiting dead celebrities to generate vast amounts of money in the wake of Michael Jackson’s death. Now, as the world gears up for This Is It, a film of Jackson rehearsals, CNN have come out with a report detailing what seems like the beginnings of a cult of dead celeb exploitation – there are even “death hags” who tour the sites of their favourite stars’ deathplaces, always on the lookout for morbid curiosities to buy.

Last year’s top-earning dead celebrities, according to Forbes magazine’s forthcoming report, are Elvis Presley, Charles M. Schulz, Heath Ledger, Albert Einstein, Aaron Spelling, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), John Lennon, Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, James Dean, and Marvin Gaye, who earned a combined $194 million in 2008.

It’s a revealing article, and it makes me think I may not have gone far enough with my predictions of the exploitations of dead stars that are to come.

To read my original blog, click here. To read the CNN report in full, click here.