Pepsi’s New Michael Jackson Campaign Can’t Extinguish Painful Memories (VIDEO)

If you've been thinking that your carbonated beverages haven't featured enough dead celebrities lately, great news! Pepsi has announced a whopper of a global marketing deal with Michael Jackson's estate. The campaign will reportedly include special edition can bearing The King of (Soda) Pop's image, chances to download remixes of Jackson's songs, and a television commercial.

According to Pepsi's chief creative officer, the campaign is intended to reinforce the brand's ties with pop culture. However, I can't possibly be the only one who instantly makes a tragic association when it comes to Pepsi and Michael Jackson. You know, one related to third degree burns and possibly a related life-long dependency on prescription drugs?


As you may remember, Pepsi originally partnered with Jackson in 1983. A year later, he was filming a commercial for the brand at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles when a rogue pyrotechnics spark caused his hair to catch on fire. It happened on the sixth take while he was descending the stairs, and he ended up suffering second- and third-degree burns to his scalp and body.

Here's a video of the accident:

Ugh, it's sad/creepy how he even didn't realize what was going on until crew members basically piled on him to extinguish the flames.

Jackson was taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center before being transferred to the Burn Center of the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, which is where he eventually donated the $1.5 million dollar settlement he received from Pepsi. He used the money to establish the Michael Jackson Burn Center for Children, but some say the painful accident also marked the beginning of Jackson's addiction to pain medication and plastic surgery.

Who knows if the Pepsi stunt gone wrong really had anything to do with the struggles Michael Jackson faced later in life, but it's hard not to raise an eyebrow at the current campaign. While Pepsi is clearly hoping to profit from the fans' nostalgia, it also seems like they run the risk of stirring up some less than happy memories. Then again, maybe everyone will be so busy admiring their fancy branded cans, they won't remember one of the most infamous commercials ever filmed.

Do you think it's weird that Pepsi is using Michael Jackson's image in their upcoming campaign?

Image via YouTube

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