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Pepsi & Michael Jackson: Beverage Company Will Feature Singer In Ads, Release Remixes (AUDIO, VIDEOS)

By CANDICE CHOI 05/03/12 04:41 PM ET AP

Pepsi Michael Jackson
Pepsi is using Michael Jackson's likeness and songs in a new campaign.

NEW YORK — PepsiCo Inc. is going on a reunion tour with The King of Pop.

The Purchase, N.Y.-based company on Thursday announced its deal with the estate of Michael Jackson to use the late pop star's image for its new global marketing push. The nature of the promotion will vary by country, but will include special edition cans bearing Jackson's image, a TV ad in some markets and chances to download remixes of some of Jackson's most famous songs.

Pepsi, which first partnered with Jackson in 1983, did not disclose the terms of its deal with the singer's estate.

The promotion is part of a global marketing blitz planned for the year ahead by Pepsi, which is looking to revive its brand and win back market share from The Coca-Cola Co. Next week, Pepsi is also launching a TV ad featuring singer Nicki Minaj and announcing details of its partnership with Twitter to stream concerts online.

The broader "Live For Now" campaign is intended to amplify the company's longstanding ties with pop culture, said Brad Jakeman, who oversees the creative strategy for Pepsi's carbonated drinks around the world.

Pepsi has a lot riding on its new push. Although the company has a diverse portfolio of brands including Frito-Lay, Quaker Oats and Tropicana, it's often judged by the performance of its namesake cola. And in 2010, Pepsi was knocked out of the No. 2 spot among sodas in the U.S. by Diet Coke, with Coke remaining in the No. 1 position, according to the industry tracker Beverage Digest.

Last month, Pepsi also reported that volume in its key Americas beverages unit slipped by 1 percent in the first three months of the year.

The Jackson promotion is one aspect of Pepsi's strategy to reverse that slide. Consumers in the U.S. and China will be the first to get a taste of the campaign in coming weeks, which is timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of "Bad," the singer's multiplatinum album. The campaign will spread to about two dozen countries by fall.

In the U.S., the company is rolling out collectible 16-ounce blue cans that bear an image of Jackson striking one of his iconic poses. Consumers will be able to scan codes on the cans with their phones to download remixed tracks from "Bad."

In the Chinese market, consumers will also see a TV ad featuring Jackson's music. Contests will also let consumers win tickets to a Michael Jackson-inspired show by Cirque du Soleil and leather jackets inspired by the singer's style. The global campaign builds on Pepsi's deal with the singer's estate last year to use his image in a commercial that premiered during the "The X Factor" TV show last year.

Although Pepsi is banking on the nostalgia Jackson can evoke, the partnership also resurrects painful memories.

In 1984, Jackson's hair famously caught fire while filming a commercial for Pepsi at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The blaze happened after a spark from a pyrotechnics display landed on the singer's head. Jackson suffered severe burns and many trace his addiction to painkillers to the incident. Pepsi gave Jackson $1.5 million as a result.

Other music partnerships have led to controversy for Pepsi as well. In 2002, conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly ran a segment criticizing Pepsi for an ad featuring the rapper Ludacris. The company pulled the ad the next day, but ran into trouble a few months later when it ran ads featuring Ozzy Osbourne, who is known for peppering his speech with swear words. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons urged a boycott and the issue was resolved after Pepsi agreed to donate $3 million to charity.

The partnership with Nicki Minaj hasn't yet raised many eyebrows, even though her lyrics also contain profanity and sexual content. Jakeman noted that Minaj's song "Moment for Life" was selected for the ad because of specific lyrics that perfectly captured the Pepsi ethos of living in the moment.

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  • Michael Jackson Pepsi Generation

    Michael Jackson teams up with director Bob Giraldi in a Pepsi commerical for the "new generation".

  • Michael Jackson - Beat It

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Beat It.

  • Michael Jackson - Billie Jean

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Billie Jean.

  • Michael Jackson - Man In The Mirror

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Man In The Mirror.

  • Michael Jackson - Black Or White

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Black Or White.

  • Michael Jackson - PYT (Pretty Young Thing)

    Enjoy.

  • Michael Jackson - They Don't Care About Us

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing They Don't Care About Us. (C) 1996 MJJ Productions Inc.

  • Michael Jackson - Earth Song

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Earth Song.

  • Michael Jackson - Remember The Time

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Remember The Time. (C) 1992 MJJ Productions Inc.

  • Michael Jackson - You Rock My World (Extended Version)

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing You Rock My World. (C) 2001 MJJ Productions Inc.

  • Michael Jackson - Bad

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Bad.

  • Michael Jackson - Scream

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Scream.

  • Michael Jackson - Dirty Diana

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Dirty Diana. (C) 2009 Sony Music Entertainment

  • Michael Jackson - The Way You Make Me Feel

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing The Way You Make Me Feel.

  • Michael Jackson - Thriller

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Thriller. (C) 1982 MJJ Productions Inc.

  • Moonwalk - Michael Jackson - Billie Jean - The First Moonwalk King Of Pop

    Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (Motown 25th Anniversary Yesterday Today Forever ) The First Moonwalk King Of Pop on " Billie Jean " at the 25th anniversary of Motown. A moment of anthology ! 1983 Le premier Moonwalk du King Of Pop sur " Billie Jean "

  • Michael Jackson - Who Is It

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Who Is It. (C) 1993 MJJ Productions Inc.

  • Michael Jackson - Ghost

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Ghost. (C) 2000 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

  • Michael Jackson - This Is It

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing This Is It. (C) 2009 MJJ Productions Inc.

  • Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson's Vision)

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson's Vision). (C) 2010 MJJ Productions, Inc.

  • Michael Jackson - Hollywood Tonight

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing "Hollywood Tonight." (C) 2011 Optimum Productions

  • Michael Jackson - Human Nature (Full Music Video)

    "Human Nature" is an R&B song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was written by Steve Porcaro and John Bettis, and produced by Quincy Jones for the singer's sixth solo album, Thriller (1982). Initially, Porcaro had recorded a rough demo of the song on a cassette, which was then given to Jones. Enjoying the demo, Jones had the ballad included on the Thriller album. The song was the last selected for the album, ousting "Carousel" from the final track listing. "Human Nature" was released on July 3, 1983, as the album's fifth single. Although not released in the UK, the song achieved moderate chart success in the US. Reaching number two on Billboard's Hot Adult Contemporary chart and number seven on the Hot 100, the song became Jackson's fifth Top 10 hit from Thriller. In New Zealand the single reached number 11. The ballad garnered many positive reviews from music critics. "Human Nature" has been covered and sampled by numerous artists, including Miles Davis, SWV, Nas, Jason Nevins and Boyz II Men..... read more info at: wikipedia.org ((((((Human Nature lyrics)))))) [1st Verse] Looking Out Across The Night-Time The City Winks A Sleepless Eye Hear Her Voice Shake My Window Sweet Seducing Sighs [2nd Verse] Get Me Out Into The Night-Time Four Walls Won't Hold Me Tonight If This Town Is Just An Apple Then Let Me Take A Bite [Chorus] If They Say - Why, Why, Tell 'Em That Is Human Nature Why, Why, Does He Do Me That Way If They Say - Why, Why, Tell 'Em That Is Human <b>...</b>

  • Michael Jackson - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough. (C) 2001 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

  • SMILE- Michael Jackson

    A great mj tune and a touch heartbreaking. follow me on Twitter rickyjaxon

  • Michael Jackson - Leave Me Alone

    Music video by Michael Jackson performing Leave Me Alone. (C) 1987 MJJ Productions Inc.



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Filed by Kia Makarechi  |