It’s time to wrap up our closer look at the relationship between Michael Jackson and the Pepsi Company, with a look at the “Dreams” Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial – a very rare look at Michael performing “Who is it” on camera! We have previously looked at Michael performing “I’ll be there” for Pepsi as well as the “Pepsi Generation Billie Jean” commercial.
Michael Jackson “Dreams” Pepsi commercial
The commercial was released during 1992 to promote his “Dangerous” album. Michael was on a massive worldwide campaign, including interviews (Oprah), shows (MTV, Superbowl etc) and commercials – as well as his Dangerous world tour. Michael Jackson performing “Who is it” is a rare occurrence. Outside the actual video, it only happened once, during this commercial (or twice if you include Oprah!). You can see a bit more of the performance in the “Making of” video below:
Michael Jackson’s “Who is it” was released in 1992 and the video premièred on the UK’s “DEF 2” Television show. Something interesting about this video is that Michael Jackson uses a lookalike in the video. If you pause the video when we see Michael Jackson sitting in the car, we will notice that if we look closely, that it’s not Michael at all. Michael never performed this song on tour or on stage – The performance we see in this video is it (except for the small Oprah acapella here). There were rumours that Michael was to perform the song during “This is it”, but this is not true.
THE DANCING: WHO IS IT
If we look at the dancing, we will see that the moves are literally exactly the same moves as he did in his video to “Black or White”. We see the hands together in a “prayer” position with movement of the head. In fact we see many many similarities between this commercial and the “Black or White” video:
Black or White video and Dreams commercial similarities
1) The Dancing is exactly the same. In fact when Michael is dancing with the Indian lady, in Black or White, his hands are in the prayer position and the moves do not differ at all. It looks like it was filmed very close together.
2) Michael is dancing with a woman, just as the same scene (above) as in “Black or White” with the Indian dancer.
3) Both Videos have Michael dancing in a DESERT with ancient looking people.
4) Both videos have Michael dancing with a industrial factory, waste land background
5) Obviously, the costume is basically exactly the same.
It’s possible that Michael used and reused the same sets for different promotions. We see Michael dancing in the desert for another commercial for his Dangerous album here. It is interesting to note that the costume was designed by VERSACE, which would be the basis for Michael Bush’s Dangerous tour costume, also.
Michael dancing in the street!
Yesterday, we mentioned that nearly every Michael Jackson video has him dancing in a street or dark back alley and this is no exception! We see him dancing in a street, so we can add this to our list of: “Thriller, Beat it, The way you make me feel, Bad, Smooth criminal, Stranger in Moscow, They don’t care about us, Billie Jean, Black or white, (a little of you rock my world) – even Hollywood tonight has MJ dancing on the road (and even Remember the time has Michael dancing in a street, although it about 2000 years old!)”
What does the Michael Jackson “Dreams” commercial mean?
As with most commercial, the meaning is not necessarily clear and it is not meant to be. It is supposed to hit you on a subconscious level with a message and secondly, to make you buy the product! The best way to interpret these things, is to turn off the sound and really open your eyes. We obviously have a superficial layer of the song “Who is it” and Michael looking for a mysterious beautiful woman, obvioulsy wondering “Who is it?” 🙂
I would say that there is a lot more than this. The video obviously takes the mysterious Dangerous tour symbolic cover and brings it to life. I’m not going to go into detail about that but nearly every cover ever made has meaning for those who can see it, and Michael Jackson’s album covers, from Blood on the dance floor to Invincible, to History – even “This is it”, are no exception. (By the way, did you notice that that is not Michael Jackson doing that pose on the front of the “This is it” CD/DVD?).
Michael Jackson Pepsi symbolism
We see Pepsi, on a Rocket exploring the Universe (travelling AWAY from earth/globe), we see Pepsi with it’s place in the centre of the galaxy, we see the industrial future, we see Pepsi uncovered in the desert, we see the unusual beautiful lady in red who disappears a lot. (see Matrix) we see what happens when we are distracted by the lady in red (In the Matrix the protagonist is busted up and in this commercial Michael is run over by the mysterious truck – Distracting girls in red are DANGEROUS it seems …. :-).
Michael himself asked Mark Ryden, the designer to create something “Mysterious” and this took him 6 months.
It’s all fun and games, so you can go and work out the rest for yourselves!
Michael Jackson and Pepsi – end of a relationship
Michael Jackson’s Bad and Dangerous tours were sponsored by Pepsi, which is why, next to Ricky Lawsons drums, we find a Pepsi drink for Michael to sip on during the concert – although, it certainly ain’t filled with Pepsi! After the long and fruitful relationship for both Michael and Pepsi, Pepsi chose not to renew the relationship, for the History tour for a variety of reasons including the 1993 allegations which actually put an end to the relationship and to the Dangerous tour.
And that is that for today!
By Anthony King (c)
I’ve just re read this and I would add one more thing. Although this is a dream sequence, Michael does not come out on top so I would not have approved the storyboard for this commercial. Pepsi are the clear winners and Michael does not emerge victorious…. he ends up under a truck. I would have had Michael dancing at the end to show that he got the girl and is fully alive and well! BUT … that is not what the commercial’s about … this is big business, this is Metropolis (It does look like you see her or him (or both) walk off at the end, but this is so small and so unclear that it’s not part of the narrative, in my opinion)
All that said … Pepsi ain’t a bad drink (well, maybe it is … but it does taste nice 🙂
MICHAEL JACKSON THE CHASE PEPSI COMMERCIAL
MICHAEL JACKSON “I’LL BE THERE” PIANO PEPSI COMMERCIAL
MICHAEL JACKSON AND PEPSI
MICHAEL JACKSON DANGEROUS TOUR MUNICH, JUNE 27, 1992
MICHAEL JACKSON DANGEROUS TOUR BUCHAREST LIVE CONCERT/DVD
MICHAEL JACKSON AND FRIENDS 1999 CHARITY CONCERTS
MICHAEL JACKSON’S HISTORY WORLD TOUR 1996
MICHAEL JACKSON’S DANGEROUS WORLD TOUR 1992
MICHAEL JACKSON’S BAD TOUR 1988
WHY DID MICHAEL JACKSON WEAR A WHITE JACKET FOR “THRILLER” IN THE HISTORY AND DANGEROUS WORLD TOURS?
DVDs: Michael Jackson moves Dance like Michael Jackson and learn the moves at home!
Anthony King’s Thriller Dance Workout DVD!
Two full MICHAEL JACKSON Style dance class routines with the classic moves plus additional lessons: Learn the MOONWALK, Learn the SIDE SLIDE, Learn the CIRCLE SLIDE. Special features include Anthony King’s demonstration Michael Jackson dance videos in London, special video clips, Reverse angle chapters, behind the scenes, interactive motion menus and much more!
Anthony King’s King Of Dance DVD!
Learn to dance like Michael Jackson with the full BILLIE JEAN style workout routine lesson and moves plus additional lessons: JAMES BROWN SHUFFLE! HOW TO SPIN LIKE MICHAEL JACKSON! PLUS a classic MOONWALK, SIDESLIDE and CIRCLE MOONWALK refresher lesson. Special features include slideshow and helpful notes and diagrams, gallery and much more!
Anthony King’s DON’T STOP DANCE WORKOUT DVD!
Learn the classic “MICHAEL JACKSON MOVES” learn the KICKS, turns and “MJ WALKS” in a classic workout routine! Learn the “YOU ROCK MY WORLD” walk, the classic MICHAEL JACKSON SHUFFLE, “SMOOTH CRIMINAL” Robotics and much more! Anthony King is back to teach you NEW moves and a new routine inspired by Michael Jackson’s “BAD”, “SMOOTH CRIMINAL” and much more!