Pepsi turns to Jackson in ads push

Pepsi turns to Jackson in ads push

Pepsi has announced a deal with Michael Jackson’s estate to use his image in a new global adverts campaign.

The promotion will include a TV ad, special edition cans bearing the pop superstar’s image 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.

The promotion is part of a global marketing blitz as Pepsi looks to revive its brand and win back market share from Coca-Cola.

In 2010, Pepsi was knocked out of the No 2 spot among sodas in the US 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% in the first three months of the year.

Consumers in the US and China will be the first to get a taste of the Jackson campaign in coming weeks, which is timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Bad, the singer’s multi-platinum album. The campaign will spread to about two dozen countries later this 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 in Los Angeles.

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 $1.5m as a result.

Jackson died aged 50 after a cardiac arrest in 2009. His personal physician was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

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