Pepsi brings back MJ for new ad campaign

Washington: PepsiCo Inc. has collaborated with Michael Jackson’s estate to use the pop legend’s image and his music in a series of new ads across the world.

The promotion will vary across the globe but will include Jackson’s silhouette on 1 billion special-edition cans as well as a TV spot, contests and the opportunity for fans to download remixes of some of the King of Pop’s top hits.

The Michael Jackson campaign also will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the ‘Bad’ album and his 1988 tour, which the company sponsored.

It is part of PepsiCo’s “Live for Now” promotion, which Brad Jakeman, president of Global Enjoyment Brands and chief creative officer of PepsiCo’s Global Beverage Group, said was meant to highlight the company’s relationship with pop culture.

PepsiCo. is also expected to release a TV ad featuring Nicki Minaj next week.

Jackson and the beverage company have a relationship that goes back to 1983, when he and his brothers appeared in the ‘New Generation’ campaign.

In 1984, during a Pepsi commercial shoot that changed Jackson’s life, pyrotechnics accidentally set his hair on fire. Ten years later, he admitted that he’d been hooked on prescription drugs since the accident.

Laura Ries, president of Ries and Ries, an Atlanta marketing strategy firm, said that it made sense for PepsiCo to bring back Jackson, especially for the ‘Bad’ anniversary, because fans were eager to revisit good memories of the entertainer.

“We all want to remember the Michael who was the ‘King of Pop’,” ABC News quoted her as saying.

“He’s very iconic. … Enough time has passed [since his 2009 death].

“They will be excited to remember Michael Jackson and excited about Pepsi,” she added.


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