I've generally been a fan of the DirecTV ads by Deutsch with the actors breaking character from classic TV and movie scenes to deliver the pitch. But the series has gotten dicey with the introduction of dead celebs into the mix. Last October, we had the spot with with Craig T. Nelson and Heather O'Rourke from Poltergeist, which was unfortunate, given that O'Rourke (who played Carol Anne) died tragically in 1988 at age 12. Now, a year later (hey, Halloween's coming up again), we get this Tommy Boy homage, with Chris Farley and David Spade. Farley, of course, died of a drug overdose in 1997. The whole dead-celebs thing is a gray area in advertising. Sometimes it seems less off-putting than other times. But you know there's an issue when an ad finishes and you hear audible groans from around the room. UPDATE: Asylum.com procured this statement from David Spade: "When DIRECT TV came to me and the Farley family with this idea about 'Tommy Boy,' we talked and thought it would be a cool way to remind people just how funny Chris was. It is a clever homage to my friend and a movie that we loved doing." Meanwhile, a rep for DirecTV tells Asylum: "We should look to Chris' family and friends for the ultimate opinion on this subject. They were involved from the beginning of this project and felt that the spot was a great to tribute to Chris."
—Posted by Tim Nudd