Pepsi will once again employ the King of Pop to sell some pop. The beverage maker has worked out a deal with the estate of Michael Jackson to feature his image in a marketing campaign launching this month.
The campaign is tied to the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s “Bad” album and will feature his image in ad campaigns and on “limited edition” 16-ounce cans of Pepsi — if 1 billion cans can be considered “limited.” The campaign rolls out this weekend in China and will hit the United States later in May. It will then spread to additional markets in Europe, South America and Asia.
Jackson’s estate is also working with Pepsi and Sony Music to release new mixes of songs from “Bad,” and Pepsi will run contests to win merchandise and tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” show.
Jackson had a long business relationship with Pepsi, dating back to 1983 when he helped launch the brand’s “New Generation” tagline. (It was during the filming of a Pepsi ad in 1984 that pyrotechnics set Jackson’s hair on fire and caused burns to his scalp.)
The new campaign won’t be the first time Jackson has been posthumously featured in a Pepsi campaign: Images of him were used in the company’s “music icons” spot that aired during “The X Factor” last fall.
What do you think of the new campaign?