Last night I caught the new ConAgra ad featuring a digitally reanimated Orville Redenbacher, and I have to say it was the creepiest thing I have seen in many years. Poor Orville, who died in 1995, has been brought back to life as zombie-like pitchman by Crispin, Porter + Bogusky and Hollywood special effects company Digital Domain. The spot features Orville – a questionable choice as a spokesman even when he was alive – hip-hopping around a modern kitchen with MP3 earbuds and a bag of microwave popcorn. The computer-generated images are truly disturbing – he actually LOOKS dead, even as he’s speaking. My kids nearly ran screaming from the room; I considered sleeping with the light on.
From ConAgra’s press release: “Orville … would have turned 100 years old this year, making this a centenary cause for remembering him.” And someone thought this was a good idea?