The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Exploiting The Dead Or Paying Your Respects …
July 7, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: Comment

Here’s an ad that was on the back page of TIME magazine.

What do you think?

Is it a gesture of genuine love and sorrow or a desperate attempt to look like Pepsi are a brand that cares?

Saying that, I think Andy’s comment was best:

“It’s the least they could do after trying to cremate him before he was even dead”.

Very true … but what do you think? Is it good … bad … ego driven stunt or a total and utter waste of shareholder money?

And is it me, or have they used the old Pepsi logo?

I wouldn’t be surprised given Arnell’s updated creation, features a smiling face which is hardly appropriate when talking about death. But then what would Pepsi know about appropriateness given they were happy to pay millions of dollars for an identity that is almost the same as their old one but with the Mona Lisa as ‘inspiration’.

But I digress.


So come on, is this the King of Print or the King of Pap?

29 Comments so far
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The latter. Or repositioning Pepsi as the King Of Pop. See what I did there?

Though since pop is only used in the northern US, it’s a geographically limited claim.

Comment by john

Of course I saw what you did John, it was hardly subtle was it.

Even if referring to themselves as ‘pop’ is a brand limiting move, I’d still love to have seen them do an ad that showed the dates of MJ’s “reign” followed by, “Pepsi: all hail the new King of Pop”

Bad taste?

Well they started it with this bloody ‘memorial’ ad.

Comment by Rob

“It’s the least they could do after trying to cremate him before he was even dead”.

I miss Andy.

Comment by Billy Whizz

King of pap.

If Coke had run this ad they’d be uproar and people would say that if anyone was allowed to make such a statement, it would be Pepsi.

Well Pepsi did run this ad and it still doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s because Pepsi haven’t associated with MJ for probably well over a decade, but it feels exploitative and cheap.

I can understand why Pepsi didn’t use their new iconography in this ad but doesn’t it make a mockery of the millions they’ve spent on the new branding if they can only use it in certain circumstances?

And Andy’s comment is pure gold.

Comment by Pete

dodds the first to comment on this blog again. i knew he was going through a dry patch but this is fucking ridiculous. you wont get company you dont have to pay for dodds if you are seen coming here before everyone else. im married so it doesnt fucking matter for me but i am looking out for you my friend. send the cheque to the usual address.

and pete. can you stop being all fucking serious on this blog. i know youre one of those planner types but you dont have to play the stereotype.

Comment by andy@cynic

i quite like the pun. but after all, the king of pop is dead. somehow funny they used the old logo.

the ad is a bit shameless, and bandwagon.

Comment by peggy

has anyone thought the fuckers at pepsi didnt realise there was a pun to be had in “king of pop”?

yes its fucking obvious but their ego is so fucking huge i cant believe theyd be so fucking generous, even to some dead bloke/woman/child/alien they once paid millions for some weak as piss endorsement.

whats the betting that right now some high up pepsi exec is demanding the ad be recalled and replaced with a headline that says “youll always be the 2nd king of pop”

Comment by andy@cynic

What a load of bloody bollocks!

It’s not like they would have signed up wacko ex accused child molester, drug addict, balcony baby dangling, black turned white, morphing/melting face, anorexic jacko in the last….oh I don’t know 20 years!! So a touch hypocritical and a lame attempt to convert mourning fans by eulogising the man in his death.

Ah pepsi – you’ll never quite beat the real thing.

Comment by Juanita

What the hell???? Bloody Juanita is on this blog? And there I was thinking she was far too sophisticated, clever and beautiful to make such an error or judgement.

But then she also doesn’t mind being seen out in public with me so maybe I’ve been wrong all these years … plus her comment is bang-on so I’ll just welcome her to the fray and remind her that she is supposed to only ‘switch off’ from work post 1pm – which means she was almost 90 minutes early!

Comment by Rob

why thank you! and no no – no error in judgement….still sophisticated, clever, beautiful and all those things. my half day became a quarter day….efficiency is such a curse.

p.s. why have you got American spell check on your blog?

Comment by Juanita

Judging with the way some people spell words, I am surprised I have any spellcheck on here … American, English or Timbuktooean.

Anyway enough of that, here’s an ad MJ did for Pepsi. Jesus, I thought the ad above was bad, but they really did love humiliating Mr Plastic face didn’t they …

Comment by Rob

You are a terrible and wicked man Andrew.

Death is very complicated so it is almost impossible for a brand to do anything without incurring some sort of negative reaction, which is why I applaud Pepsi’s decision because it would have been much easier to let the moment pass quietly by.

I agree that tonally the ad has room for improvement but development time would have been extremely short so while I am in the company of esteemed and experienced individuals and accept the negative associations of the modern day MJ brand, I still believe it’s a good and brave move on behalf of Pepsi.

Comment by Lee Hill

How dare you go against the common view Lee … who do you think you are? Ha.

You raise many good points … and I do appreciate that just because Pepsi and MJ haven’t collaberated for years there’s no reason why they shouldn’t pass on their wishes … however I just feel that Pepsi’s intent is not as genuine as you obviously feel it is – best demonstrated by their decision to run a full page ad on the back of TIME magazine when there were/are many other ways they could have demonstrated their sorrow without having to do it in such a public – and commercially minded – way.

Pepsi is not an individual – it’s a brand, a brand that [if memory serves me] dumped MJ the moment the ‘accusations’ started … so even though I accept my post was written from a ‘gut reaction’ point of view, I still pretty much stand by what I said because for all the options available to them, they chose the one that ensured the public were reminded of their old collaberation with the now dead singer.

I think this is one of those ‘agree to disagree’ moments isn’t it? 🙂

Comment by Rob

I agree with Lee. Good morning.

Comment by Marcus

You would. Good morning back.

Comment by Rob

Our default setting Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

I think that’s a bit unfair Lee, I wholeheartedly agreed with your suggestion of sending me to the US to see AC/DC. 🙂

PS: If that offer was based on me agreeing with your viewpoint on this post, then I can assure you I was simply being objective for the sake of discussion because of course, you’re right … as usual. Yours sincerely, Mr Toady.

Comment by Rob

Didn’t his hair catch fire shooting a Pepsi commercial?

Comment by northern

Why do you think I wrote Andy’s comment in the post NP, just for randomness?

Of course it’s because MJ’s hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial.

Jesus, if you’re like this even before becoming an official Dad, what are you going to be like when the beautiful little tyke is out and screaming???

To be fair though, you’re from oop North, so you probably have just heard about the hair burning incident – which means you probably can’t understand why everyone is going on about MJ’s death. Don’t worry – all will become clear, in about 14 years. 🙂

Comment by Rob

Aaaaaaaaaaah, I see.

Comment by northern

Michael Jackson’s dead?

Comment by northern

Is it wrong to say I don’t care about Pepsi or Michael Jackson?

Comment by Bazza

If it’s all coming out … I think it’s only fair to tell NP the sad and tragic news that not only has his beloved MJ died, but Boney M have split up and Freddie Mercury is no longer.

Sorry mate, I know how hard that will be for you to accept.

My thoughts are with you at this very sad time.

Comment by Rob

On this very sad blog.

Comment by john

Last week I posted a bunch of ads from the past (, revealing the attitudes of society at the time, thus allowing us to feel smug about how we have moved on. Well I think this belongs with them. Why not go the whole fucking way and stick a vending machine next to MJs Hollywood Blvd star. Or sponsor Madonna’s dance tribute act on her tour.

And that pepsi logo – it’s not the old logo, it’s the touch of sincerity with a twist of opportunism logo, when a smile is really a smirk

Comment by simon

1 has anyone watched the fucking deathfest? princess diana, the last pope bloke and freddie mercury must be green with fucking envy.
2 thats the smartest thing youve ever fucking said baz.
3 i like simons fiesty side.

Comment by andy@cynic

4 lee makes an interesting comment. its wrong, but interesting. 🙂

Comment by andy@cynic

i agree with lee. and marcus.

Comment by lauren

[…] Pepsi would have. […]

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