Green Light For VW Advert Using Legendary Singer Who Died Decades Ago

The use of dead celebrities in commercials might become more common after regulatory authorities in Brazil rejected a complaint about the use of one of the country’s most famous singers in a VW commercial.

Elis Regina was one of the country’s most famous singers ever until she died unexpectedly at the age of 36.

Now she has been brought back to life, albeit virtually, performing a duet with her daughter, who is also an award-winning singer in her own right named Maria Rita.

She was four years old when her mother died.

The AI-generated computer animation mode with real-life reportedly took 2500 hours to create in order to mark the 70th birthday of Volkswagen in Brazil.

The video begins with Maria Rita driving an ID.Buzz – a modern, 100 per cent electric version of the Kombi – while singing Belchior’s classic ‘Como Nosso Pais’, which Elis sang successfully in the 1970s.

The piece continues with images of company cars that marked generations, such as Beetle and Brasilia.

Until an old Kombi appears, driven by Elis Regina, which pulls up beside Maria Rita’s car to compose the duet.

Footage shows a duet between Elis Regina and her daughter for Volkswagen campaign video, undated. Conar reportedly decides to file lawsuit against advertising that recreated Elis Regina with artificial intelligence. (Volkswagen do Brasil/CEN )

The video however sparked an investigation by the ethics council of the National Advertising Self-Regulation Council (Conar) which now has ruled that the campaign did not violate the Brazilian Advertising Self-Regulation Code.

In particular, they were concerned about the ethics of using artificial intelligence and also looking at the wider implications of the use of the technology.

However, in a statement announcing the decision they said: “The collegiate unanimously considered that the question of disrespect to the figure of the artist was unfounded , since the use of her image was made with the consent of the heirs and noting that Elis appears doing something she did in life.”

There was added that there was no suggestion that people were being fooled because it was well known that the singer was dead and therefore could never have been seen performing alongside her daughter.

They added: “Transparency is a fundamental ethical principle and, in the specific case, it was respected, considering that the use of the tool was evident in the advertising piece.”

Volkswagen had strongly defended its campaign that involved using a female double whose image was then altered to make her appear like Ellis.