In Depth

Pepsi Partners With Michael Jackson Estate for Commemorative Packaging -- Limited-Edition Package Coincides With 25th Anniversary of 'Bad'

By Natalie Zmuda
Advertising Age

Pepsi is paying homage to the King of Pop one more time.

The brand is working with Michael Jackson's estate to create a limited edition package featuring the singer, according to an executive close to the company. The package coincides with the 25th Anniversary of the "Bad" album, which was released on Aug. 31, 1987.

The package will be a 16 oz. can available in convenience stores and grocery stores around Memorial Day, according to Beverage Digest. The can, said to have a blue background with an image of Mr. Jackson dancing, is expected to cost 99 cents. Pepsi declined to comment.

Pepsi sponsored the 1988 Bad World Tour. The tour spanned 16 months, including 123 concerts in 15 countries attended by 4.4 million fans. When it concluded, it was the largest grossing tour in history and the tour with the largest audience.

The brand's relationship with Mr. Jackson dates back to 1984 and the "New Generation" campaign. Infamously, the singer's hair caught fire during a commercial shoot that was part of that campaign. Mr. Jackson appeared in a number of commercials for the brand over the years, performing versions of "Billie Jean" and "Bad," among other songs.

Pepsi has a long association with music but has been putting a particular emphasis on that area in the last year. It poured $60 million into a sponsorship of "X Factor," Simon Cowell's music competition, and featured the show's winner, Melanie Amaro, in a Super Bowl spot. The tagline for the ad, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day was "Where there's Pepsi, there's music."

Earlier this week, Pepsi confirmed to Ad Age its relationship with singer Nicki Minaj, who is said to be appearing in a new global campaign for the brand.