5 Fascinating Facts About the Iconic Pepsi Michael Jackson Commercial (1984)

The Pepsi “Michael Jackson” commercial from 1984 is one of the most iconic advertisements of all time. It featured the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, dancing alongside a young Alfonso Ribeiro, who would later become famous for his role as Carlton on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” The commercial was part of Pepsi’s “New Generation” campaign and featured a reworked version of Jackson’s hit song “Billie Jean.”

However, the commercial is also infamous for the accident that occurred during the filming. On January 27, 1984, a pyrotechnics mishap caused Jackson’s hair to catch on fire, resulting in second and third-degree burns. The accident was a traumatic event for Jackson and had a lasting impact on his life. Despite this, the commercial remains a cultural touchstone and a testament to Jackson’s enduring legacy.

Key Takeaways

  • The Pepsi “Michael Jackson” commercial is an iconic advertisement that featured the King of Pop dancing alongside a young Alfonso Ribeiro.
  • The commercial is infamous for the accident that occurred during filming, which resulted in second and third-degree burns for Jackson.
  • Despite the accident, the commercial remains a cultural touchstone and a testament to Jackson’s enduring legacy.

The Pepsi Michael Jackson Commercial

The Pepsi Michael Jackson commercial from 1984 is one of the most iconic and memorable commercials in history. It features Michael Jackson and his brothers performing and dancing to the song “Billie Jean.” The commercial was part of Pepsi’s “New Generation” campaign, which aimed to target younger audiences and promote Pepsi as the new and cool drink of choice.

Background

The commercial was filmed on January 27, 1984, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. During the shoot, a pyrotechnics mishap caused Michael Jackson’s hair to catch on fire, resulting in second and third-degree burns. The incident was widely publicized, and the commercial was temporarily pulled from the airwaves.

Despite the accident, the commercial continued to air, and it became even more popular. The incident added to the mystique and legend of Michael Jackson, and the commercial went on to win numerous awards, including the Cannes Gold Lion.

Production

The Pepsi Michael Jackson commercial was directed by Bob Giraldi and produced by Alan Poul. The commercial features Michael Jackson and his brothers performing and dancing to the song “Billie Jean,” which was reworked for the commercial.

The commercial was part of Pepsi’s “New Generation” campaign, which aimed to target younger audiences and promote Pepsi as the new and cool drink of choice. The campaign was highly successful, and it helped Pepsi gain market share against its main competitor, Coca-Cola.

In conclusion, the Pepsi Michael Jackson commercial from 1984 is a cultural phenomenon that continues to be remembered and celebrated to this day. The commercial’s impact on popular culture and advertising cannot be overstated, and it remains one of the most memorable and iconic commercials of all time.

Pepsi Michael Jackson Commercial

The Accident

In 1984, Michael Jackson was filming a commercial for Pepsi Cola in Los Angeles when a freak accident occurred. During the filming of the commercial, a pyrotechnic effect went wrong and Jackson’s hair caught fire. The incident left him with second and third-degree burns on his scalp and face.

The incident was captured on video, which was not released until many years later. The footage shows Jackson’s hair catching fire, and he is seen frantically trying to put out the flames. The incident was a shock to the world, and it had a significant impact on Jackson’s life.

Aftermath

Following the accident, Jackson was rushed to Brotman Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles for treatment. He received extensive medical attention and underwent several surgeries to treat his burns. The incident left him with permanent scarring on his scalp, and he was forced to wear a wig for the rest of his life.

The incident also had a profound impact on Jackson’s mental health. According to US Weekly, the incident sparked a decades-long addiction to sedatives. The accident was a traumatic event for Jackson, and it had a lasting impact on his life and career.

In the aftermath of the accident, questions were raised about who was responsible for the incident. Former LA City Fire Department Capt. Donald Donester, who was an eyewitness to the disaster, posted on Us Weekly that the accident was caused by a lack of safety precautions on set.

The incident was a tragic event that had a significant impact on Michael Jackson’s life. The accident, which was captured on video, left him with severe burns and permanent scarring. The incident also had a lasting impact on his mental health and career.

The Impact

On Michael Jackson

The 1984 Pepsi commercial featuring Michael Jackson and his hit song “Billie Jean” had a significant impact on the King of Pop’s life. During the filming of the commercial, a pyrotechnics mishap caused a spark to ignite Jackson’s hair, resulting in second and third-degree burns. He was rushed to the hospital and treated at Brotman Memorial Hospital and later at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The incident left Jackson in excruciating pain and led to his addiction to painkillers, which plagued him for the rest of his life.

Although the incident was traumatic for Jackson, it also had a significant impact on his career. The commercial was part of Pepsi’s “New Generation” campaign, and it continued to use the reworked “Billie Jean” track. The ad was a massive success, and it helped cement Jackson’s status as a pop culture icon. The commercial’s director, Bob Giraldi, also went on to direct Jackson’s groundbreaking “Thriller” music video.

On the Industry

The 1984 Pepsi commercial not only impacted Michael Jackson’s life but also had a significant impact on the advertising industry. The commercial’s pyrotechnics mishap was captured on film and was later shown to the public, causing a media frenzy. US Weekly unearthed footage of the incident, and it went viral, garnering millions of views on social media.

The incident also highlighted the dangers of using pyrotechnics in commercials and other productions. It prompted the industry to take a closer look at safety measures and regulations surrounding the use of pyrotechnics and other special effects.

Moreover, the commercial’s success paved the way for other celebrities to star in commercials. It demonstrated that commercials could be a viable and lucrative career move for actors, musicians, and other famous personalities. The commercial’s impact on the industry is still felt today, as many commercials continue to feature famous faces to attract audiences and create buzz.

Overall, the 1984 Pepsi commercial featuring Michael Jackson had a significant impact on both the King of Pop’s life and the advertising industry. Despite the pyrotechnics mishap, the commercial helped cement Jackson’s status as a pop culture icon and paved the way for other celebrities to star in commercials.

Pepsi Michael Jackson Commercial

The Aftermath

Michael Jackson’s Recovery

Following the accident during the Pepsi commercial shoot in 1984, Michael Jackson suffered second and third-degree burns on his scalp and face. He was immediately rushed to the Brotman Memorial Hospital Burn Center, where he underwent surgery to treat his injuries.

Jackson’s recovery was a long and painful process. He had to wear a wig to cover his scars, and he struggled with the physical and emotional trauma of the accident. Despite this, he continued to work and perform, becoming a superstar in the years that followed.

The accident during the Pepsi commercial shoot led to legal proceedings against the soft drink company. Jackson’s attorney, Jay Coleman, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the singer, alleging that Pepsi was responsible for the accident due to negligence in the use of pyrotechnics display during the shoot.

The case was settled out of court, with Pepsi agreeing to pay $1.5 million to Jackson. The settlement also included a clause that prevented Jackson from speaking publicly about the accident.

The Impact

The accident during the Pepsi commercial shoot had a significant impact on Michael Jackson’s life. It was later revealed that the incident sparked his addiction to prescription drugs, which ultimately led to his death in 2009 from sudden cardiac arrest caused by an overdose of propofol and Xanax.

The accident also had an impact on the crew and those involved in the shoot. Alfonso Ribeiro, who played a young Jackson in the commercial, later spoke about the incident and its impact on him. Virginia Watson, a makeup artist on the shoot, also suffered burns and underwent treatment at the same hospital as Jackson.

In conclusion, the aftermath of the Pepsi commercial shoot was a difficult and painful time for Michael Jackson and those involved. The legal proceedings and settlement helped provide some compensation for the singer, but the long-term impact of the accident was significant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was in the 1984 Pepsi commercial with Michael Jackson?

The 1984 Pepsi commercial featured Michael Jackson and his brothers, The Jacksons. The commercial was part of Pepsi’s “New Generation” campaign and was aimed at a younger audience.

What happened to Michael Jackson’s hair in the Pepsi commercial?

During the filming of the commercial, there was a pyrotechnic mishap, and Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire. He suffered second and third-degree burns to his scalp and face, which required extensive medical treatment.

When did the Michael Jackson Pepsi generation commercial come out?

The Michael Jackson Pepsi generation commercial was released on February 27, 1984. The commercial was a huge success and helped to cement Michael Jackson’s status as a pop icon.

What happened while Michael was filming a Pepsi commercial in 1984?

While filming the Pepsi commercial, there was a pyrotechnic mishap, and Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire. He suffered severe burns and had to undergo extensive medical treatment.

Did Michael Jackson have an accident during a Pepsi commercial?

Yes, Michael Jackson had an accident during the filming of a Pepsi commercial in 1984. There was a pyrotechnic mishap, and his hair caught on fire, causing him to suffer severe burns.

In addition to Michael Jackson, other celebrities who appeared in the Michael Jackson Pepsi commercials included Alfonso Ribeiro, who later became famous for his role as Carlton Banks on the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” The commercials were part of Pepsi’s “New Generation” campaign and were aimed at a younger audience.

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