Posted by: cassymuronaka | May 7, 2010

The dead rise to advertise

It was bad enough seeing Fred Astaire posthumously dancing with a vacuum cleaner in a Dirt Devil television commercial, or a live Paula Abdul hawking Diet Coke with the very dead Cary Grant, Gene Kelly and Groucho Marx.

Those were all people from a different generation than mine. And while the commercialization of Baby Boomer nostalgia has been a reality for a while now, we haven’t had to deal with the painful specter of dead celebrities shilling for something like Pop-Tarts.

No longer, thanks to thank Armstrong Flooring. Janis Joplin, who died in 1970, and is arguably the most famous woman in rock and roll history (unless you count Yoko Ono, who would absolutely love to be counted), is not the woman in this photo, but the whole point of the pitch is that, at first glance, you think it’s the dead singer.

What would you give to see the look on Joplin’s face if you had told her in 1969 that she would, in a fashion, be selling laminate flooring or wall-to-wall carpet? Involuntarily.

I also wonder if Elton John — a superstar who has earned cash interacting in a television commercial with dead ones — has considered what he might be pitching long after his death.



  1. I’m guessing that the real Janis would have been amused, kind of like the faux Janis is

  2. Armstrong – The floor you can drink on, smoke on , shoot on. pass out on and best of all eat off.

  3. This picture is actually of a friend of mine, Licia. She’s an art teacher and bears a surprising resemblance to Janis! The money she got from this ad paid for her yoga instructor training in Puerto Vallarta.

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