Pepsi is about to try once again to breathe serious life into the deceased King of Pop’s global image in a move that has left some marketing experts aghast and others applauding.
The unexpected marketing announcement comes on the heels of a new, global partnership between Pepsi and the estate of Michael Jackson. Pepsi has lost global market share to rival Coke the past year and is eager to grab some back with what it bills as a 25th anniversary celebration of Jackson’s multiplatinum Bad album and tour. Besides the 1 billion Michael Jackson cans due to start rolling out in late May, the Pepsi promotion will include live events, iconic music and digital opportunities for fans to get special-edition merchandise. While Jackson died a little less than three years ago, for Millennials there is a concept in play called “accelerated nostalgia,” says youth marketing consultant Jake Katz. Things are evolving from “current” to “classic” much faster than for previous generations because of social media, he says. “This is very macabre and seems totally over-the-top to me,” says pop culture guru Watts Wacker. “This will be a very polarizing promotion. They’ll get lots of buzz, but most of it will be negative.”
Classic Coke looking at Whitney Houston. Whitney went better with coke.