PepsiCo + Michael Jackson’s Re-Animated Corpse

Here’s Jim’s reaction to the following links…what’s yours?

“PepsiCo announced yesterday that they will be “celebrating” the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ album with commemorative Pepsi cans and various other bullshit (excuse my cynicism, but this is the part of advertising that I hate). It’s not the announcement that is interesting, but the fact within less than 24 hours the “news” was everywhere! And I’m not just talking about an article off the AP wire that was republished 2,000 times; I’m talking about seemingly every major media outlet devoting resources to the story…promoting the advertising campaign, if you will, before it has even begun. We live in weird times. Do healthy adult human beings really think this is important? That this is a newsworthy business transaction? Or is it just that the din of contemporary life is such that some vague, nostalgic feeling for the version of Michael Jackson that existed in the 80’s is sufficiently captivating to grab our attention long enough to sell us more ___fill-in-the-blank___ ?”

Here is the official press release w/ multimedia assets: Pepsi Announces Global Partnership with the Estate of Michael Jackson

Wall Street Journal

Business Week


Rolling Stone

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1 Response to PepsiCo + Michael Jackson’s Re-Animated Corpse

  1. rsedlak1 says:

    I think from a business point of view, it is an interesting thing to look at: How Pepsi is planning to improve its position with this campaign (especially the part about being able to download remixed tracks from the “Bad” album). I can understand why business-oriented publications like WSJ, Business Week and Forbes, and a music-centric publication like Rolling Stone, would think this announcement was newsworthy. But at the same time, like the quote above says, these media outlets are “promoting the advertising campaign, if you will, before it has even begun.” A lot of times media serves as a way to get a group’s message out to others, like a preview of a theater show or an article on a marathon, for example. But when it comes to business and advertising, journalists should ask the question: how much is this reporting, how much of this is opinion, and how much of this is just promoting the companies? The campaign hasn’t even started. Maybe Michael Jackson mega-fans will be excited for this, so they want to know about it in advance, but there is little to no commentary on it. Perhaps a better article would be how the campaign is going, or fans’ reactions. It all seems a little vulgar, too, as the WJS lede hinted at: “PepsiCo Inc. is resurrecting Michael Jackson to try to pump life into its flagship cola” — the words “resurrect” and “pump life” is eye-catching, but a little vulgar, when considering poor Michael Jackson. The campaign is also called “Live For Now,” which I find a little weird: so consumers aren’t supposed to care or think about anything but “living for the now”? Or Michael Jackson is “alive for now,” as long as he keeps pulling in money for Pepsi they like him? Personally, I find the whole campaign a little desperate-looking. I guess you can see it as Pepsi celebrating Jackson or Pepsi squeezing money out of Jackson’s image.

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