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Bellevue Casket company has cameo in new Taylor Swift video

Taylor Swift debuted her latest music video for her new song, “Anti-Hero,” last Friday. To the surprise of a Bellevue-based company, it had an unexpected cameo.

Halfway through the video, there’s a funeral scene where Swift emerges from a casket. The casket is the Orion series from Bellevue direct-to-consumer company, Titan Casket.

“We had no clue,” Titan Casket co-founder Liz Siegel said. “When a production needs a casket for something, they'll just go online like anybody else. And that's how the production company found us. They purchased the casket, and we saw that it was for an entertainment company. So, I had a few conversations back and forth with them kind of telling them about the casket and how to use it properly. They shared with us that it was for a big music video. That was all we knew.”

That purchase happened in July and Siegel never heard anything else from the production company. Then, when Swift released her video, an employee pointed out that the casket in the video was the one the production company had purchased this summer.

Titan co-founder Josh Siegel is using this 15-minutes of fame to spread awareness to a larger issue: Most consumers purchase caskets from funeral homes without realizing they have more options.

“The day before this Taylor Swift video happened, we were in front of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), arguing for a strengthening of these consumer rights,” Siegel said. “In 1984, the FTC passed a series of consumer protections collectively called the FTC Funeral Rule. And what that rule mandates is that when you go to a funeral home, and start to talk about price, they have to give you a general price list, listing all the items they have available and the prices. They have to accept any caskets or other products that you buy outside of the funeral home, and they can't refuse them or charge you any fees.”

Siegel says that grieving families often show up to funeral homes when their deceased loved one is already there. Often times, they don’t talk about prices or options, and are taken advantage of by funeral homes, according to Siegel. He’s happy this time in the spotlight has allowed him to share this knowledge with families.

“For us, that’s the best thing about this Taylor Swift video,” Siegel said. “Obviously it's thrilling to build a company and see it highlighted this way, and the product looks great. But thousands of people are now becoming aware that they have rights and options. And we know from working with families and seeing our reviews, how meaningful and beneficial that can be when families are educated going into the process.”

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