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Iowa TV station pushes news alerts with a commerical imitating deceased pitchman Billy Mays



Can a deceased informercial king help draw viewers to a TV station's mobile text alerts?

That's the question Waterloo, Iowa TV station KWWL-TV faces following its decision to feature a look alike for Billy Mays in a commercial touting its news alert cellphone text service.

The station's commercial features a pitchman wearing a fake beard and trying a halfhearted imitation of Mays' classic high-volume delivery. Even though Mays died in his sleep at his Tampa home in June, advertisers have continued to air his commercials and Mays' son even held an online contest encouraging fans to dress like his deceased dad for Halloween.

The marketing manager for the station even forwarded a copy of my story on the Mays family's support for continued airing of his commercials to explain why they thought the pitchman's relatives wouldn't object to their parody.

Considering that Billy Mays III even endorsed a South Park lampoon of his dad after his death, they may be right. Still, I've embedded the actual commercial in the blog below.

Check it out and decide for yourself:

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:03pm]


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