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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 18, 2012/ 26 Iyar, 5772

The King of (Soda)Pop is Ba-ack

By Greg Crosby



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "The king is dead, long live the king."

The resurrection of Michael Jackson is at hand. Say "Halleluiah!" The second coming of The King of Soda Pop will soon blanket the country with TV spots, internet, Twitter and Facebook ads, billboards, movie theater spots, bus benches, newspapers, you name it. So hide your children, 'cause Michael the Jackson is a-comin' back!

In case you haven't heard, Pepsi Cola has made an agreement with Jackson's estate to roll out a billion Pepsi cans with a silhouette of Michael Jackson-who died in 2009-as part of its newly launched "Live For Now'' global marketing campaign. PepsiCo and Jackson's estate declined to disclose the financial terms of the latest deal. Michael Jackson signed onto a Pepsi sponsorship deal in 1984 for a then-record $5 million. He soon became the drink's spokesman, moon walking and moon hawking the soft drink to kids throughout the 80's and 90's.

A couple of questions come to mind with this promotional campaign. First off, in general how do feel about raising the dead to sell soda pop? And we're not talking about a famous person in history who is a long time dead like Julius Caesar or Shakespeare or Orville Redenbacher. Jackson died in June of 2009, that's not even three years ago. I don't know if the sealant has even dried around his drawer at the mausoleum yet.

In 2007, when ConAgra Foods Inc. reincarnated their company spokesman, Orville Redenbacher, (who had died in 1995) they ran a commercial that featured a computer-generated version of Mr. Redenbacher who had gotten a modern makeover. Some folks dubbed the character "Orville Deadenbacher." An ad critic for Adage, an industry trade magazine, called the posthumous pitchman: "Madison Avenue's first pitchzombie."

Using dead people to sell stuff lowers the bar in marketing ethics (if there is such a thing) into the creepy and slimily department. Resurrecting a celebrity from their grave who has no say in how their likeness is to be used has always bothered me. A prime example of bad taste is that TV commercial where they used a dead Fred Astaire to sell Dirt Devil Vacuum Cleaners.

There's more than just a dead celebrity going on here, you've got the whole Michael Jackson creepiness attached. Jackson's weird lifestyle (remember bubbles the monkey?), his drug abuse that finally killed him, and the criminal charges of child molestation. Wow, sounds like a perfect spokesperson for a soft drink product to me!

If that isn't creepy enough, how about the official campaign slogan? "Live For Now" What message does that send? Just live for the moment and don't worry about the future? Don't worry about consequences, if it feels good do it and the hell with tomorrow? That's what it sounds like to me. And I guess that's what Jackson did, he lived in the moment. At least that was the image he projected. And look what it got him - a premature death. What a great role model for all the kids out there. And what an odd campaign slogan to attach to a man who died of an overdose under mysterious and illegal circumstances. Creepy doesn't come close to describing this.

Weird stuff is nothing new for Michael Jackson Pepsi Cola spots. You might remember the infamous commercial shoot for Pepsi in 1984 that inadvertently set the King of Pop's hair on fire, burning his scalp. This time Pepsi's new campaign around Mr. Jackson is timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of "Bad,'' the multi-platinum album. "Bad" is kind of fitting; you know, "bad" taste, "bad" marketing idea. But what the heck, if it sells soda pop, well that's all that counts, right?

A spokeswoman for Mr. Jackson's estate said the PepsiCo campaign represents the first branding deal since Mr. Jackson passed away, but that more such marketing agreements are planned. Oh boy! I can't wait to see all the marketing plans next year for the 30th anniversary of Jackson's "Thriller" album. The music video featured "living dead" zombies with Jackson becoming a zombie himself. Now that is perfect! At least that promotion will make sense. Michael Jackson, pitchzombie.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2008, Greg Crosby

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