Michael Jackson’s relationship with the Pepsi company created probably one of the longest commercials ever called “The Chase”! The whole commercial was 4 minutes long and was split into several different parts. Unlike the “I’ll be there” Pepsi commercial which we looked at yesterday, “The chase” has many more references to Pepsi and similarly to the “Pepsi Generation“, Billie Jean commercial, Michael re-sang the lyrics to enhance the Pepsi link.
MICHAEL JACKSON’S THE CHASE
Michael Jackson’s and Pepsi’s “The chase” was split into four parts and was literally a short movie! The Advert was broadcast in parts in 1988 during Michael Jackson’s BAD TOUR.
What is the commercial about?
The commercial works on the idea of Michael Jackson being a superstar and being chased down by paparazzi and fans. He is put into seemingly inescapable situations but MJ, along with his super human powers and Pepsi, can escape … but not for long! In the end he escapes, after helicopter rides, zip cords, a massive ski jump and being thrown of the side of a building on to a Pepsi van, only to find himself back on stage – He can’t escape! Forced by the fans to perform!
This commercial seems to relive his real life in a fictional way. It mirrors his life and it seems that it mirrors reality and that is what it would become.
This commercial was released during the same time as Michael Jackson’s “Moonwalker” movie and you can see obvious links. Most notably between “BAD” and “SPEED DEMON”. The commercial basically, is exactly the same as the Speed Demon chase, which started at Universal Studios, and see’s Michael Jackson being chased by a grotesque looking mob and autograph hunters but still having to dance at the end when his saviour, the Bunny, turns into a dancing bunny who demands a dance off! No rest for the King of Pop … not even in the desert!
The song BAD
The commercial is based on Michael performing his song “Bad”, with a twist. The background beat (described by producer Quincy Jones in the special edition of the album), is used as a soundtrack and Michael joins in with lyrics that have been changed to talk about Pepsi! You should remember that this was the world hit at the time and song of the moment so to have Michael Jackson sing “I’m Bad, I’m Bad, You know it, Cos’ Pepsi’s cool, it’s cool” was quite an achivement for the Pepsi company! The same beat used in this commercial is same basis for “THE DRILL” in Michael Jackson’s “This is it”.
During the commercial Michael is performing on a stage. This was not a tour but a sound stage created for the event. This is exactly the same as the video’s for “Come together”, “Dirty Diana” and the later “Give in to me”. You certainly get the “X factor” feeling with the crowd being whipped into a frenzy.
Michael’s dancing is sharp but it is so hard to dance in those punk boot’s I assure you! Coincidently, I have actually wore that Jacket for some TV show many years ago. I was surprised at how small it was. It fit me and I was only 14 or something at the time.
Other themes in the commercial
We see Michael driving a black Ferrari Testarossa (Michael could drive by the way … he composed “Billie Jean” whilst driving his Bentley). In Moonwalker we see him “escape” and turn into a “Stratos Zero” super car.
Dancing in the Street
Just like “West side story” and Fred Astaire, Michael liked to dance in dark back alley streets. Not only is a dark back alley street featured in this commercial but this is a theme that goes through nearly ALL of his videos. Michael Jackson dances in a back alley or street in the videos, 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!)
Michael Jackson’s Mystery drink
Michael Jackson would go onto to create his own drinks company and a drink called “Mystery”. It was on sale during the History tour and I think also in the Netherlands. There were print adverts and, although I never tasted it, it was supposed to be nice and fruity.
Michael never drank Pepsi
It’s interesting to note, that according to Randy Taraborrelli, in the best Michael Jackson biography, Michael Jackson didn’t even drink Pepsi! Great adverts though!
By Anthony King (c)
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!