As if the Tupac hologram at Coachella wasn’t creepy enough, PepsiCo is resurrecting poor Michael Jackson for a new ad campaign. The deal, which was approved by Michael Jackson’s estate, will supposedly include television ads and cans of soda branded with MJ’s image.
The big questions that come to mind are:
1.) Pepsi, are you SERIOUS?
2.) Controllers of Michael Jackson’s estate, are you SERIOUS?
3.) Fans who will probably buy MJ cans, are you SERIOUS?
Pepsi is notorious for tapping celebrities (mostly musicians) to stay fresh, young and relevant. Most of the time though, those musicians are still alive, willing and able to sign their own contracts agreeing to use their image to hock soda. To combat Coca-Cola from stealing too much of the soft drink market share, Pepsi has run previous campaigns with A-listers like Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg – I could keep going, but I’ll stop.
Michael Jackson famously appeared in a previous Pepsi television ad in the 80s, when his hair caught fire and he suffered severe burns.
It seems like a desperate and tactless move on the part of Pepsi, considering the tragic way that MJ died, the recency of his passing (seriously it hasn’t even been 3 years) and the fact that MJ’s HAIR CAUGHT ON FIRE WHEN HE FILMED A PREVIOUS PEPSI COMMERCIAL. If he were alive, I hardly think the “King of Pop” would approve.
I’ll definitely be looking out for the ads and the cans (though I probably won’t purchase one) when they’re due out in the USA in a few weeks. Will you be buying a can of Pepsi emblazoned with MJ’s face? What do you think of the ad deal?
*Photo courtesy of PepsiCo