As reported by Forbes, Nicki Minaj will become the new face of Pepsi within the next two months.
The multi-million dollar commercial (a few seconds of which have already leaked) was filmed in Argentina last month. Derek Jackson, the Glu agency chief in charge of making it happen, said that Minaj’s commercial will be “a segue into a new beverage Pepsi has called ‘Pop’… it’s going to be explosive.”
The phrase “Coke and Pepsi” is more than just a game to play at bar mitzvah parties. The two big brands have been vying for the bigger pop star endorsement for decades. The competition started way back when in a time we affectionately call “the 80s.”
Michael Jackson taught street kids how to dance in 1984, telling them that they’re “the Pepsi Generation.” The slogan “Pepsi. The Choice of a New Generation” intertwined with beats from “Billie Jean,” “Bad” and “Black and White.”
In 1992, Coca-Cola snagged Paula Abdul for Diet Coke. Abdul sang and danced her way into the heart of Gene Kelly with the slogan, “Just for the taste.” The commercial, which featured classic Kelly footage from the 1945 movie “Anchors Aweigh,” was recently added to the Coca-Cola Hall of Fame Museum as one of the company’s most successful advertisements.
In 2001, Britney, Beyonce and Pink covered “We Will Rock You” for Pepsi in a segment that was a full three minutes long. The spot, which featured an Enrique Iglesias cameo, had the three women in an Olympic-like stadium wearing warrior get-ups. This ain’t no regular commercial, break but damn, do those ladies look good.
In 2005, pop princess Christina Aguilera signed to Pepsi, which claimed she had a “dare for more” approach. Yeah, we’d say so — especially since the singer was promoting Coca-Cola five years prior. Aguilera’s Coke spot shows her meeting a superfan who can’t keep his cool. “Pop the top and you could win a chance to meet Christina Aguilera this summer,” the ad boasts. “Why not you? What not now?” Not sure.
In this silly “advert” from 2009, Welsh soul singer Duffy leaves her concert to take a spin on her bicycle while singing “I Gotta Be Me” before getting onstage. The majority of the ad takes place in a grocery store. Hmm. “Hello You” was the Diet Coke slogan. You can be whoever you want to be, Duffy. Just get your bike out of aisle 5!
Natasha Bedingfield sang “Shake Up Christmas” for Coca-Cola’s 2011 global holiday campaign. The British songstress learned the single in Spanish, French, Ukranian, Swahili and Tagalog so that the advertisement could be localized in 90 different territories. Though “Shake Up Christmas” was originally sung by Train for Coke in 2010, Bedingfield’s take on the track was Coca-Cola’s first global Christmas campaign, despite 80 years of Christmas-related advertising.
Sure it’s almost April, but the commercial kinda gets in you in the mood for the holidays, doesn’t it? Ah, the power of advertising.
Allison Berger is a Philadelphia-based writer and a pop music columnist for Reverb. Check out more of her writing here.