Scholarly article on topic 'Necromarketing in the Media and Marketing Communications'

Necromarketing in the Media and Marketing Communications Academic research paper on "Art (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music)"

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Academic research paper on topic "Necromarketing in the Media and Marketing Communications"

Social Communication Volume 2 (2015), pp. 15-29 DOI: 10.1515/sc-2015-0007



Death is an inseparable part of life. This paradoxical statement expresses the inevitability that each individual will encounter death. The demise of human existence is often stereotyped in media, and used in a variety of commercial purposes as away of drawing attention. When death and tragedy are used in marketing communication, it is called necromarketing. There are two approaches to the tool of necromarketing: explicit and implicit. Explicit necromarketing displays catastrophes, misfortunes and deaths in their direct form, while implicit necromarketing indirectly presents of the death.

Keywords: Necromarketing, Marketing, Mass Media, Advertising, Death.


The fields of marketing and advertising consistently look for new methods to create buzz and to sell products. Once such method, necromarketing, was started in 2009 [Wojciechowski, 2010]. This tool began as a reflection of the inevitability that humans face death. Marketing products through the aspect of death or tragedy, which has generally been seen as taboo, has since become established. Necromarketing represents a field of marketing which uses generally known marketing rules and techniques with the aim to evoke a change which would satisfy the wishes of individuals, organisations; and faces towards situations and objects explicitly or implicitly connected to the death or parasite on the death and tragedy [Wojciechowski, 2010, p. 8]. Nowadays death and tragedies connected with death, illnesses and bad luck, have become more and more familiar, in the media. However, representation is not as dominant as we would assume. The idea of death is both used and misused for its paradoxically, that it death scares

1 dr -Lukasz P Wojciechowski (, mgr Viktoria Babjakova (, Department of Mass media Communication, Faculty of Mass Media, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, 917 00 Trnava, Slovakia. The author deal with the issues of necromarketing, creativity, creativity, stereotypes, gender, current issues in mass media, particularly electronic, visual semiotics, photography, movie. Lecture the: Introduction to photography, photography for media, Mass media praxis - photography, Social marketing, non-profit ad, mass media educations, Marketing Communication Tools (guerrila marketing). Work encompasses a wide variety of Slovak and Polish films, as both a photographer and as an Assistant Director. Film credits include films such as Strawberry Wine, War Games, Fly of Storks, Heaven, Hell, and Earth, My Father Gulag and The Legend of flying Cyprian. A member of the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists, has had photo exhibitions in Slovakia, and Poland, and has had many photographs published in magazines and newspapers and won the Grand Prix of Theatrical Photography from the Slovak Theatrical Institute in Bratislava in 2012.

Lukasz P. Wojciechowski] Viktória Babjaková1


people and attract them at the same time [Walter, Littlewood, Pickering, 1995]. Realities that could be classified as necromarketing further precede their term. A possibility of a partial identification goes back to historical times, when burying and the objects and activities connected to it had become the subjects of the exchange trade.

Necromarketing takes place in two possible levels: explicitly and implicitly. Explicit necromarketing deals with displaying catastrophes, misfortunes and deaths in their pure, direct form. The portrayal of undertaking services is an example of explicit necromarketing. Implicit necromarketing is the indirect presentation of death. Necromarketing is quite a broad phenomenon and can be identified both directly and indirectly in a variety of fields, such as social marketing and its communication activities as well as the fields of cosmetics, pharmacology and plastic surgery.

Explicit forms of necromarketing (undertaking services) are valued and used as a tool in marketing communications because if death inevitability, but also for the fascination bordering with fanaticism the idea holds. The phenomena of death, for individuals, is that it could but also could not, personally happen. The explicit, or direct death reference or display in connection with marketing practices is a main necromarketing presupposition resulting in images of sumptuous funerals, pompa funebris and coffin portraits [Solewski, 2013]. There undoubtedly belong farewells, adoration or commemorative memory or commemorations, and the popularity of virtual realities concerning death have begun to appear in the shape of virtual cemeteries or directly created applications on social sites. Such memorials such as If I die or other virtual post-mortem messages offers the possibility of saying good-bye, leaving a message, informal last will or necessary passwords, for certain friends and close people who would receive the last letters. Such an application argues that it is higher in practicability, provides simpler editing and proclaims added safety over classical versions of good-bye letters or messages. In a certain meaning it can be seen as a virtual testament.

Many companies have modified their products into necromarketing forms to expand their market offerings. Once such example is life insurance and financial coverage provided for burial ceremonies. Some products and services pay out on death only partially or not at all. This makes them to be parasites on a deceased, his death, and family of the deceased person. At a certain point it also borders on morbidity or necrophilia (a modern society full of mechanic and non-living elements calls out a necrophillic character and enables shifting a border of acceptation necrophillicaly tuned communication and promotion strategies, e.g the anorexic Barbie dolls from the same manufacturer -dolls from series Monster High. The borders of what a society bears as an acceptable level have been shifting) or by a recessive approach to a toy industry (Figure 1).

This distributed product is accompanied by a death letter, a label attached to a leg of a toy and a plastic bag (representing a bag for death corpse).

Implicit necromarketing, on the other hand, works as a reaction on an inner and actual side of the death for an each person. An unfulfilled desire for internal life and youth is a soil for product development of cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies. An emotional communique with the help of evoking emotion has been trying to change of recent behaviour. Evoking negative emotions causes an increased emotional activation - fear, anger, etc. Within a reduction of negative emotions a person makes steps, so that it changes the recent state of approach and behaviour. In the case that a threatening causes bigger fear than it has been planned, a receiver concentrates more to perceived threat rather than to change behaviour, approach or state.

Necromarketing as a marketing phenomenon reflecting a situation of modern times has been built on a concrete approach of people of a certain time towards a situation of death. Some authors [Bradnanska, 1999] state that a ground of a human approach towards death does not change and from the point of an evaluation quality reaches dimensions positive (attracting) - neutral (carelessness) - negative (refusal).

Figure 1. Soft toys of RoadKill company. Source:, (11.05.2015).

Aries [Kisvetrová, Kutnohorská, 2010] represents 5 models of death, which represent human approaches towards death, dying and deceased from the historical and cultural points as follows:

1. "domesticated death"- a kindred relationship towards death, it has been comprehended not as a personal tragedy but as part of society,

2. "death of an individual" - the death becomes more the individual affair of a person as a last drama,

3. "death close and distant" - approaching so far distant type of the death,

4. "death of a close person" - appears in 19th century and it is represented by fear which is evoked by a loss of a close person and exceeding fear from his own death,

5. "reversed death" - a change of a approach towards death in 20th century characterized by terms, tabooization, institutialization, deritualization and postponing death which end in a failure of the society towards the approach to death.

Nesporová [2004] claims that death becomes an interest of scientific research, and it is again possible to talk about it in public. From the point of view of death, marketing in certain directions becomes apparent. Demands for a realistic depiction in films (mainly from thrillers: gore, found footage), series (N.C.S.I., C.S.I, Bones), computer games (Blood, Resident Evil, Sky Rim) etc., have been growing [Shelton, 2007]. In fact the corpse in a decomposition processes has become subject of necrophillic fun . Nec-romarketing, therefore must be defined as a term which relects, for instance, a situation in the media, where there is an apparent shift of borders, such as a society that refuses

to talk about death as a normal situation of an everyday life, yet becomes obsessed by horror comics, war films and disasters.

Death commercialisation

When cemeteries came from public ownership to private, death has openly become a business. Even in the case of coffin producers, burying services, etc. the presentation of death in commercials is the same as for other products [Kisvetrova, Kut-nohorska, 2010]. A change of death to a commercial subject is understandable and irreversible - the death became an article in a market system. The business with death thus overcomes the borders of a subject and service sale connected with burial and shifts and becomes a bigger representation in sales of commemoration objects of life of famous people, visits of places connected with death. In fact, millions of people travel to places connected with death, torture or alleged threat [Stone, 2006]. Lennon and Foley [Molokacova, Molokac, 2011] add that this type of tourism belongs to the parts of the world which are influenced by catastrophes, for example places of wars, and tragic situations (places of genocides, concentration camps, areas of natural disasters). That these locations and sites are financially successful is not a surprise; the death of other people is more interesting then considering your own death.

The presence of death references in promotion does not have to necessarily evoke negative emotions. Therefore, labels that are linked with the symbol of death, such as a skeleton or personified death, are not automatically considered negative or threatening. According to Papica [1998] a skeleton was used often in medieval times for commemoration of memento mori in a personified form. Consider danse macabre, an audio-visual advertisement of Mercedez-Benz. In this spot, death is personified as a man in a black coat with a scythe. He appears on a passenger seat during a drive and expresses sorrow that he came to take the soul of the driver who faces a impending crash. The driver in a last moment breaks the car, avoids the crash and thus Death, and with a victory-like and sarcastic grin replies with the same phrase: Sorry.

This ironic dialogue is done from point of view of both arguing participants and a certain way represents an analogy of a meeting of a knight Antonius Block and Death in a work by Bergman called Det Sjunde inseglet (1957). Similarly, the safety features of a car save lives in another advertisement for Hyundai Veloster. The advertisement shows

Figure 2. Volvo for life. Source: reklamy-62, (11.05.2015).

two models of the Hyundai Veloster, and begins with women about to get out of the car on the side of the road. On the other side is the figure of death with a scythe. With the traditional four-door car, the woman is tragically run over. However with the second model, it is death that is killed, as the Hyundai Veloster only has one back door that opens on the safe side of the road. Another example is ad for Volvo (Figure 2). A motive of a death dying even if it is an oxymoron, appears at the same time in an advertisement for Volvo. However, the death can be cheated or killed, as it is in the film Final Destiny.

The use of explicit fear to evoke attitudes is considered to be an unwise choice in most situations, and is instead is positioned as a humorous situation. The given advertisement describes a model emotional pivot [Young, Kastenholz, 2004]. The emotional state of a viewer is finally strongly positive [Young, 2006]. The death of a driver is apparently expected and that situation cannot be changed. Unique qualities of the product suddenly change a given state of a situation and the driver thanks to technologies temporarily wins over death. Advertising campaigns using the aspects of explicit necromarketing uses fear as a prior and presumed motive. In the case of social and societal marketing this fear is used in an attempt to leave a feeling of inevitability of a solution of a depicted problem in the consumer.

Effectiveness of fear appeals in communication is disputable. According to Hradiska evoking intensive feeling of fear is not a guarantee of a behaviour change. It explains by a psychic mechanism of self-defence ("it cannot happen to me") which activates mainly by repeated application of fear impulses [Young, 2006]. The audio-visual advertisement was and in spite of that, considered to be effective. Partly, a mechanism of self-defence appeared says Hradiska [Young, 2006]. The advertisement and its main figure of a skeleton were interpreted individually by some people and that resulted in a demonization of homosexuals. Gays were marked as those who bring to the others death such as AIDS as it was done by the skeleton.

Advertisement campaigns featuring death have generally been found to more often be using direct death referred symbols. Features using the stereotypes for clear decoding include communiqués belonging to coffins, gravestones, or crosses and direct references to death. From time to time a human body as a ghost or depicted as a dead man are used. Except from the direct death references, necromarketing features are used in the meanings of the ending of life or as life after death. In connection with identified features of necromarketing (explicit or implicit) we are able to create the following categories of manipulation through a communique:

1. Manipulation through contrast

2. Manipulation through sexual content

3. Manipulation through (the deceased) referrals (celebrity endorsement)

4. Manipulation through "perfection"

Manipulation through contrast

Advertisement campaigns of Michael Stich Foundation focusing on help to children suffering from HIV or living with AIDS illness in Germany, often use, in their printed advertisements, necromarketing. Implemented into a normal environment, necromar-keting creates contrast situations evoking fear, shock and outrage.

Examples include a campaign and other print advertisement from 2007. The main focus of the organization is to illustrate the issue of HIV transfer from a mother to a baby. This print advertisement depicts a walk in a park on an idyllic sunny day, but the calm face of a mother sitting on a bench contrasts with a child pram represented as a coffin on wheels. The text reads Like his mother, HIV positive.

Another advertisement refers to death from another point of view. In a picture saying that HIV is not a good start into life (Figure 3) there is a vulture carrying a baby in

its beak. The vulture instead of a stork, which traditionally brings babies, represents necrophagia which flies around dead corpses. Another example (Figure 4) depicts a baby metaphorically proclaimed to be dead reminiscent of a photo by Kevin Carter from the warlike Sudan for which he was awarded the Pulitzer prize in 1994.

Figure 3. HIV is not a good start for a life. Source:, (11.05.2015).

Figure 4. Photo by Kevin Carter. Source:, (11.05.2015).

Manipulation through sexual content

Erotic or sexual content presented in advertisements is often used for their efficiency sexuality is one of the basic human needs in various practical outcomes of a human life and naturally thus attracts the attention where we talk about it, it is depicted, presented in different forms, genres, means, media [Pavlu, 2009]. An important view in the case of such a motive is a link with a promoted object or an idea. A purposeless use of an erotic motive does not need to be effective.

The Michael Stich Foundation campaign uses necromarketing in their printed. The ads created focus on young people and they promote the use of condoms at sexual intercourse. The series of ads depict a young couple at a cemetery, (Figure 5); and in a room with burning lanterns, cross, prayer beads, a picture of a saint, a funeral urn, a skull etc.; all items found with funerals. The text reminds that HIV indeed ends with the death, however, it offers by a solution by using condoms. (Everyone infected by HIV will die of it. Stop the virus. Use condoms.).

Figure 5. Unprotected love is eternal. Source: tx_wtgallery/popup/6f87fea6661a42e2f39392fa76d15357.jpg, (11.05.2015).

A set of communiques directs a recipient towards realization the seriousness of a situation not in a traditional form, even though; in a certain view it is stereotyped. A couple in this communique is directed to death and at the same time anticipates a fate of careless recipients of the presented warning, and in case they do not realize the danger, with claim Unprotected love is eternal. Displaying a half-naked couple contains a significant lover-like position which can attract more attention by the explicitly rather than the appeal itself.

Products or services of companies connected with funerals, use promotion in their marketing mix. The sensitivity of death requires a careful handling within promotions, mainly when speaking to elderly people. A surprising approach of some companies might be classified under the name "sex sells". An Italian company Cofani Funebri presents their coffins through calendars with pointed sexual content (Figure 6). Moreover, this company broadened its goods in its online shop with key chains and lighters in a shape of coffins, piggybanks in a shape of a skull, T-shirts with a company logo and other products. Figures display in calendars (postures, costumes, roles they act in, environment: a charnel house, cemetery), apart from erotic appeals up to fetishism refers

to subcultures such as emo or goths as a modern manifestation of neoromanticism. "Symbols linked to vampires significantly marked the aestheticism of subcultures, such as Goths or more mainstream Emos, or a youth fashion known under an umbrella term scene" [Malickova, 2009, p. 326]. Vampires undoubtedly connects a mystic of immortality.

Figure 6. Calendar 1. Source:, (11.05.2015).

In an attempt to make promotion more attractive some companies use the promotion of calendars which apart from the offered goods depict attractive women (even in a pair with a man) and it exemplifies relation of Eros and Thanatos. Delimitation of Eros focusing on reaching the sexual delight through erogenous zones and Thanatos as a destructive, relying on a principles of nirvana, full of peace and non-existence of suffering, which we find in death. A similar idea was accepted by a Polish company.

Linder (2010) published a calendar, literally coquetting with pornography and open fake reminding calendars displaying naked women, with drills and similar machines; further years aimed at more cunning pieces. More original ideas on a calendar topic in this field were shown by EIZO company with its campaign for X-ray medicinal monitors (Figure

7). _ '

f • s

Figure 7. Calendar 2. Source:, (11.05.2015).

Manipulation through referrals

A referral is in a certain way a manipulative element on a side of a promoted product or label. Referrals can be divided into three big groups: professionals, celebrities and laic referrals. Celebrities become referrals of some products from the reason of their general familiarity and ability to be identified with the product [Mikulas, 2007]. Thus, a presented product is subconsciously connected with the celebrity and in the way based on it he/she is being identified. In necromarketing we encounter people as referrals. Thanks to digital technologies and body doublers they again get back "to life". Famous celebrities are picked into positions of referrals who are linked with a certain modus vivendi and sometimes even death. An example of a use/misuse of a deceased person is advertising campaigns of companies such as Dr. Martens or Hard Rock Cafe. A shoe label for different subcultures refers to the personality of Kurt Cobain from a legendary grunge group Nirvana, Sid Vicious - a bass guitar player from a famous punk group Sex Pistols (Sid Vicious, Figure 8) or Joe Strummer the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of the punk rock band The Clash and Joey Ramone a vocal singer of a punk-rock group Ramones. All of them were considered to be musical icons in life, and after their deaths they become infamous- even immortal with rise of cult mentality. In one advertisement, all the musicians are in skies representing heaven, dressed in white togas wearing in Dr. Martens shoes. It is an idea of an image campaign using post mortal faithfulness. Dr. Martens AirWair evokes sensual experiences connected with lightness, comfort and shoe quality. In the second campaign, Kurt Cobain, Elvis Presley (They never left, Figure 9) and Freddie Mercury appeared. The advertising campaign was made for the Hard Rock Cafe. The scenography of advertising is connected with music such as the network of Hard Rock Cafe. The campaign points out the status of a company in a place where there is music, there are also those who make it and made it the best.

Figure 8. Sid Vicious. Source:, (11.05.2015).

They never left.


Figure 9. They never left. Source:, (11.05.2015).

Despite of the fact that in the given examples there are the people who are a part of the past, these advertisements endeavour to identify them within the present times. Finally, there is a question of morality when using images of a deceased person for the purpose of sale and profit. There is a paradox in which by death a person loses everything that they owns, but identity's can live and "sell" onwards, stuck in eternal times due to their fame or beauty, In this way the celebrity becomes immortal.

Allegedly dead referrals

Another example of such referring is simply a moniker known as "dead people". This can be illustrated by the personal display of Kim Kardashian in a campaign fighting against HIV/AIDS. "Allegedly dead" created a project under the name The Digital Life Sacrifice, in which famous celebrities from different fields such as Alicia Keys, Katie Holmes, Ryan Seacrest, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian (Figure 10), Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Elijah Wood, or photographer David LaChapelle and many others gave up their "digital life", or their lives on social networks. Celebrities were supposed to be digitally dead up to the time when people with the help of sending text messages with contributions of 10$ "ransomed" them. Each celebrity decided to dedicate his/her digital life in the interest of the millions of real people infected by HIV/AIDS. To achieve this, the celebrities pledged to have no connection with social sites until their life was ransomed back. The aim was to reach the of sum one million dollars. The campaign collected a half of money through individual donations, and the other half was sponsored by philanthropist Stewart Rahr (a pharmaceutical millionaire).



Figure 10. Kim Kardashian is dead. Source: kim-kardashian-is-dead-keep-a-child-alive-world-aids-twitter-ad-120110.jpg, (11.05.2015).

In this example, the manipulation is more than apparent. The purpose was to evoke panic in fans with the supposed death of the celebrities. The campaign also appealed to para-social interaction created between the personality and his/her admirers. Even when it is clear that the death is real indeed even a necromant game people are interested. In fact, there appears to be a rise of necrotainment (Tupac's visual "exhumation"). Rather than a decision between life and death by gladiator fights we achieve

death with a thumb by text messages. In quiz shows and reality shows, in which metaphorical death is expected, necromarketing can be seen. Nowhere is this truer then on a screen, as is in case of computer games [Mikulas, 2007]. However, it is questionable how many people are impressed by such a reality, and how many are willing to pay for this virtual resurrection.

Manipulation through "perfection"

Implicit manipulation works with symbols and pictures referring to death in the second or next plan. Primarily refer to aging or illness which end with death, or carefully avoiding the consequences of aging, necromarketing in this form is presented as "perfection" and offers a heal. A scent of death walks around campaigns with their laboratories of make-ups for the dead, not living models, hair sprayed, not speaking, dumb women in stiffed poses, hanged with bijou, without any expressions, with fake smiles, unnatural walk, as living mummies [Toscani, 1996, p. 20]. Thus Toscani emphasizes the presence of death in the most perfect and neat model, unnaturality of their image. We encounter a form of a "visual cannibalism", and a "phenomenon of a consuming eye", coined by French sociologist and anthropologist Louis-Vincent Thomas [Thomas, 1991]. The bodies determined to be displayed are mostly those shown in advertisements. Advertisements force us at the same time to identify ourselves with those we look at. Thus, viewers ingest the incredibly - that is the incredible presented in the pictures - such as the ugly, the beauty, the younger, the unsuccessful ones, and those more successful. Thus cannibalism itself is connected with the faith of taking over the power of the one who has been eaten.

Figure 11. Sophia Loren - Pirelli Calendar 2007. Source: EI/T4Il1Af2dpI/AAAAAAAAT-Y/2_VYZRFRxZU/s1600/49658_Sophia_Loren_2007_Pirelli_Cal-endar_04_122_429lo.jpg, (11.05.2015).

Different cosmetic products guarantee services such as wrinkle removal, getting perfect complexion, etc. and use famous images in advertising to propagate these services. Consider the photos of Sophia Loren in a Pirelli Calendar 2007 (Figure 11). However, thanks to digital corrections, these images do not correspond with their age and ordinary look and are unnatural. Advertisements by a cosmetic company L'Oréal with actress Rachel Weisz were pointed out by the British organisation Advertising Standards Authority as cheating and the ads were banned [Poulter, 2012]. These advertisi-

ments reflect the aging process in the modern times. We live in times of infinite youth and everything is allowed including sex, however, not only finiteness of existence and inevitability of dying and death [Cernak, 2009, p. 205]. Cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies offering products and surgeries, benefit from a never-ending desire to be young and some say, immortal. These products sell their brand of "life elixir" as the only right one, where results "will be seen" within the proclaimed time. However, customers' similarity with the model from the advertisement will be never achieved.

Implicitly, a necromarketing message is hidden beyond an audio-visual advertisement of Dermablend by the Vichy company under the name Go Beyond The Cover (Figure 12). In the spot an ordinary looking man is shown that apart from some piercing does not seem unusual. However, when he uses make-up remover on a part of his chest, he reveals a part of his tattoo. Even more shocking is what is revealed on his face, where there is a tattoo representing uncovered brain, a skull skeleton, and reveals a zombie image (Rick Genest has his body tattooed and therefore nicknamed Zombie Boy). The end of the advertisement belongs to retrospective fast shots masking the man's complexion with the help of special correctors aimed to cover tattooing. An attempt to point out at a perfect covering quality of the advertised products implicitly involves an ability to hide death by the choice of a referral.

Figure 12. Go Beyond The Cover. Source: o2.jpg, (11.05.2015).


Our presented view on qualities in advertisements which are considered to be nec-romarketing promotion presents within the basic categories which could be identified in a majority of advertisements (humour, fear, sexual appeals, and referrals), and the manipulative influence on a recipient. Manipulation from the point of view of visual outcomes creates an emotional effect. Use of topic of death in commercials offers the idea of death from the position if its "attractiveness." Even when death is used in a light and humorous level, fear evoking creates an unwilling effect. In public service advertisements death is used with the same purpose, however, effect by fear is understandable and bearable. It is assumed that the manipulation involves a certain level of misuse, in necromarketing when it is exposed in a higher level.

The death is an inseparable part of life. This paradoxical statement expresses the inevitability that each person will encounter death. Death is often disguised (makeup) or added with some other circumstances (commemoration, media informing about accidents, etc.), but has found its place in society. The presence of various referrals -the dead, allegedly dead, changes communiques and advertisements are placed into

metaphorical mausoleums. Equally, the modern society approaches towards life with Fromm's dose of necrophilia [Fromm, 1997] and death and dying gradually has becomes an institutionalized, commercialized fact without tabooization, or detabooiza-tion of death makes argumentations and inability to get to a high profile. An ideal of a young, healthy body which dominates in today's audio-visual culture is connected with violence, elimination and tabooization. We remove from our sight (and from our intentional perception) bodies which do not fulfil conditions and requirements of a certain ideal which is generated within the certain times. We do not look at the bodies of the sick, old, disabled and we do not want to perceive their problems. This tendency of a dominance of a young, beautiful and healthy body was called by Lynda Nead [1998] as "body fascism". The second phase of violence on the figures is implicitly involved in a view which creates from them objects of observation.

Necromarketing is apparent in promoting and in using and misusing death motives, illnesses, tragedies sometimes for political capital. Sometimes death serves to beneficial purposes. Thus death appears within social marketing and advertising campaigns. The aim of the majority of these ads are, firstly, to provoke as well as shock and ultimately persuade consumers to accept the presented idea, and implement the idea into his/her way of life and customs. Fear appears as the only emotional reply which can be evoked in consumers. Manipulation of consumers works in commercial campaigns which use the features of explicit necromarketing, on a different level from public service communication -where mostly they do not want to scare, rather amuse or attract bigger attention.

Nekromarketing is a quite extended phenomenon and it can be identified in different fields. It has become a subject of argument in terms of what is and what is not an appropriate level of displaying and referring to the end of a human existence, as well as what exceeds a border of ethicality and referring to the death of a human being.


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The paper was supported by VEGA - 1/0195/11 „Stereotyped genderization of media space" grand.