In this paper, we survey the history behind the growing market for dead celebrities (‘Delebs’) in their role of creating secondary brand associations. According to some estimates, this market is now worth $2.25 billion in annual licensing and royalty revenues (CBC 2013). We begin, by defining key terms that are used in this market. Next, we do a survey and analysis of the major events that have given rise (intentionally or unintentionally) to this market. For ease of discussion, we discuss these historical events grouped by era. We follow this with a summary of the major events and trends that have shaped and are still shaping this burgeoning market. Finally, we conclude with a synopsis of some of the major implications (for marketers and other Deleb stake-holders) that we have picked up from our survey of this market and suggest some future directions that this market might take.
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