PepsiCo Inc. is going on a reunion tour with The King of Pop.
The Purchase, N.Y.-based company on Thursday announced its deal with the estate of Michael Jackson to use the late pop star’s image for its new global marketing push. The nature of the promotion will vary by country, but will include special edition cans bearing Jackson’s image, a TV ad in some markets and chances to download remixes of some of Jackson’s most famous songs.
Pepsi, which first partnered with Jackson in 1983, did not disclose the terms of its deal with the singer’s estate.
The promotion is part of a global marketing blitz planned for the year ahead by Pepsi, which is looking to revive its brand and win back market share from The Coca-Cola Co. Next week, Pepsi is also launching a TV ad featuring singer Nicki Minaj and announcing details of its partnership with Twitter to stream concerts online.
The broader “Live For Now” campaign is intended to amplify the company’s longstanding ties with pop culture, said Brad Jakeman, who oversees the creative strategy for Pepsi’s carbonated drinks around the world.
Pepsi has a lot riding on its new push. Although the company has a diverse portfolio of brands including Frito-Lay, Quaker Oats and Tropicana, it’s often judged by the performance of its namesake cola. And in 2010, Pepsi was knocked out of the No. 2 spot among sodas in the U.S. by Diet Coke, with Coke remaining in the No. 1 position, according to the industry tracker Beverage Digest.
Last month, Pepsi also reported that volume in its key Americas beverages unit slipped by 1 percent in the first three months of the year.
The Jackson promotion is one aspect of Pepsi’s strategy to reverse that slide. Consumers in the U.S. and China will be the first to get a taste of the campaign in coming weeks, which is timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of “Bad,” the singer’s multiplatinum album. The campaign will spread to about two dozen countries by fall.
In the U.S., the company is rolling out collectible 16-ounce blue cans that bear an image of Jackson striking one of his iconic poses. Consumers will be able to scan codes on the cans with their phones to download remixed tracks from “Bad.”
In the Chinese market, consumers will also see a TV ad featuring Jackson’s music. Contests will also let consumers win tickets to a Michael Jackson-inspired show by Cirque du Soleil and leather jackets inspired by the singer’s style. The global campaign builds on Pepsi’s deal with the singer’s estate last year to use his image in a commercial that premiered during the “The X Factor” TV show last year.
Although Pepsi is banking on the nostalgia Jackson can evoke, the partnership also resurrects painful memories.
In 1984, Jackson’s hair famously caught fire while filming a commercial for Pepsi at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The blaze happened after a spark from a pyrotechnics display landed on the singer’s head. Jackson suffered severe burns and many trace his addiction to painkillers to the incident. Pepsi gave Jackson $1.5 million as a result.
Other music partnerships have led to controversy for Pepsi as well. In 2002, conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly ran a segment criticizing Pepsi for an ad featuring the rapper Ludacris. The company pulled the ad the next day, but ran into trouble a few months later when it ran ads featuring Ozzy Osbourne, who is known for peppering his speech with swear words. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons urged a boycott and the issue was resolved after Pepsi agreed to donate $3 million to charity.
The partnership with Nicki Minaj hasn’t yet raised many eyebrows, even though her lyrics also contain profanity and sexual content. Jakeman noted that Minaj’s song “Moment for Life” was selected for the ad because of specific lyrics that perfectly captured the Pepsi ethos of living in the moment.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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