Pepsi Strikes Deal With Michael Jackson's Estate to Use His Image in New Ad Campaign
PepsiCo Inc. plans to resurrect Michael Jackson nearly three years after his passing in 2009. On Thursday, May 3, the beverage brand announced that it has struck a deal with the King of Pop's estate which allows the soft drink maker to use the late "Thriller" hitmaker's image for its new global marketing push.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of MJ's "Bad" album and tour, one billion Pepsi cans that feature special edition design of the pop legend's silhouette will be rolled out in China on May 5. The limited edition cans will be made available in the United States in late May, before hitting 20 additional markets in Asia, South America and Europe.
A part of Pepsi's "Live for Now" campaign, the promotion will also include iconic music and epic live events. Fans will also get the opportunities to access special edition merchandise, which include jackets inspired by the original "Bad" tour, new mixes of music from the album and chances to win tickets to performances of Cirque du Soleil's "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour" show.
"This unique global partnership, around such a legendary music milestone, invites Pepsi fans from around the world to experience Michael Jackson's music in an engaging and very NOW kind of way - it's a model example of how Pepsi's 'Live for Now' campaign can manifest itself in a way that resonates the world over," said Brad Jakeman, president, Global Enjoyment Brands, and chief creative officer, PepsiCo Global Beverages Group in the press release.
John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of MJ's estate, also weighed in on the partnership, "We are thrilled to bring Michael and Pepsi back together, as they were in 1988, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 'BAD' album and tour and to put Michael on one billion Pepsi cans - perhaps a Guinness record." They added, "We're excited to see it all come to life."
MJ had a long standing relationship with Pepsi. He first starred in an ad campaign for the company with his brothers in 1983. The following year, his hair caught on fire because of a pyrotechnics accident while he was filming a commercial shoot for the brand. In 2011, he was featured in Pepsi's 'Music Icons' commercial that premiered during "The X Factor (US)".
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