King of Pop.
The greatest entertainer who ever lived.
Inventor of the Moonwalk.
These are just three of the many titles given to the late Michael Jackson. He was an amazing singer, performer and one of the most giving philanthropists this world has seen.
His death was a loss not only for the music industry but the world. Before I go any further, I should say I have loved Michael Jackson since I was 5 years old. It might have started from the womb as when my mother was a teenager she loved the Jackson Five (especially Jermaine). Though I arrived when she was an adult, maybe I reached back in time and got the love for the Jacksons from her. Let’s just say it didn’t surprise her when I grew up to love Michael. When I was little, I would force my family to watch the legendary “Thriller” music video every Sunday. The tradition continued for years. We all know the steps to the video and are semi-experts on the lyrics. Well, they are; I know them all.
It is because of my love for MJ that I was a little indifferent to learn Pepsi plans to put a silhouette of Michael Jackson on one billion of their cans to commemorate the anniversary of Jackson’s “Bad” album and tour. A recent “USA Today” article said the move would be a part of a new marketing campaign and comes after a partnership with the company and the estate of Michael Jackson.
In addition to the cans that will sport an image of Jackson, the article said promotion will include live events and the release of special-edition merchandise.
On the surface, it seems like familiar territory. After all, Jackson starred in his first Pepsi campaign in 1983. He was also injured one year later when his hair caught on fire while shooting another Pepsi commercial.
When I first read it, I was happy to see MJ in the news for something positive. While Jackson did so much good in this world, there are some who only remember him for scandals that attempted to stain his reputation. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and I respect that.
After I thought about it a little more, I thought it was a good gesture of the company to honor the icon this way. But then I got mad because I thought about the timing of the gesture. I was not the only one who felt this way.
Some image experts interviewed in the article thought the idea was stupid. Some marketing experts thought it was a little over the top.
Others explained it might be effective because many fans remember a younger Michael Jackson and so the can could resonate with them. One image expert was right on target. She essentially said if Jackson was living, it would not be happening. I agree.
Where was this idea when he was alive? Why do it when he can’t even see or reap the benefits of the reunion.
I totally get what people mean when they say, “Give me my flowers when I can still smell them.” Pardon the cliché. However, it makes perfect sense.
The one billion cans sporting an image of MJ are expected later this month. If anything, they will be nice collector’s items but as a fan, I wish they would have arrived sooner.
It’s disheartening when it is noted an artist or celebrity is worth more dead than when he or she was living. It should be the other way around.
The headline on the story read: “Michael Jackson back on Pepsi cans – is that weird?”
It’s not weird. It’s just a little too late.