Monday, October 20, 2014
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Pepsi to vulture off Michael Jackson's image

Pepsi has signed a deal with Michael Jackson's estate to use his image in ads for the soft drink company.

Pepsi to vulture off Michael Jackson’s image

Blog Image
Pepsi sponsored MJ’s 1988 Bad World Tour. (Image posted on fan site, www.michaeljacksonfansite.net)

In the not so distant future, you will be drinking cola out of cans embossed with Michael Jackson’s face.

(“Eeewww!”you say? I know, I know ...)

The cans will be part of a colossal global marketing blitzkrieg by PepsiCo Inc., which has just signed a contract with the late star’s estate to use his image to market its wares.

Yep, that’s the same company responsible (in a manner of speaking) for setting the late star’s hair on fire in 1984.

Pepsi’s marketing push also features new TV ads starring foul-mouthed hip-hop megastar Nicki Minaj.

It will reportedly feature chunks of her song, “Moment 4 Life.”

It's a ppppperfect song when you think about it, given the lyrics:

"ppppp-put ya drinks up, it’s a celebration every time we link up
We done did everything they can think of
Greatness is what we wanna brink up.”

Pepsi’s “Live For Now” ad campaign, as it is called (an ironic title given Jackson’s tragic death?), also features a deal with Twitter to stream live concerts online.

The King of Pop will be featured in Pepsi ads to air in China (but not here?)

In America, his image will grace a series of collectible 16-ounce blue cans. Consumers will be able to scan codes on the cans to download newly remixed tracks from MJ’s classic 1987 album, Bad.

Pepsi struck a marketing deal with MJ in 1983, which had the company sponsor the The Jacksons’ Victory Tour. But their relationship soured a year later when MJ’s hair caught on fire during a shoot for a TV ad.

Pepsi paid him $1.5 mil as an apology.

MJ, who was treated for severe burns, blamed the incident for his addictions to pain killers.

But the relationship did not end: Pepsi sponsored MJ’s 1988 Bad World Tour.

How many trillions of dollars is MJ’s estate bagging in the deal? Both sides are keeping schtump.

PHOTO: Nicki Minaj, who will star in Pepsi ads
VIDEO: Footage from Michael Jackson's ill-fated 1984 Pepsi video shoot.

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Tirdad Derakhshani Inquirer Sideshow Columnist
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