Madonna’s Pepsi ad sparks Pope boycott and backlash

Success in the music industry is every musician’s goal, but with fans and good fortune comes a wave of media coverage. Stars like Britney Spears and Lady Gaga know all too well the price to pay to make a dream come true, and that may be more than some might think.


Madonna is an icon in the music business and has made headlines for decades. Back in the 80s, the singer struck a massive advertising deal with Pepsi that inadvertently baffled the singer.


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Let’s remember how Madonna and Pepsi got backlash and boycotts!


Madonna is an icon of the entertainment industry

Studying the history of pop music, it’s hard to find someone who has the same cultural influence as Madonna during her biggest years in the entertainment industry. We’ve seen tons of big pop stars, of course, but Madonna was a global phenomenon that took over the entertainment industry completely at the height of her career.


It is estimated that around 300 million records have been sold worldwide, so there are not many artists in history who would come close to its success. Not only was Madonna able to sell records like no others during her most successful years in the industry, the singer had absolutely no problem with ruffled feathers. To say that she is at the center of controversy would be a huge understatement.

Despite the controversy she had, brands still knew how valuable the singer was, making her a popular commodity to work with. This, in turn, led to a large soft drink company giving it millions for approval.


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Madonna received huge support from Pepsi

During her 1989 campaign, Madonna was able to strike a major $ 5 million deal with Pepsi. The soft drink giant paid the singer a huge sum to use her new song “Like a Prayer” in a commercial that was supposed to precede her video for the song.

When talking with Rolling stone Regarding pending advertisements, Madonna said, “I love the challenge of merging art and commerce. As far as I understand, making a video is also an advertisement. But the approach to video is much more controversial. touch the nerves of many people. And the handling of advertising … I mean, it’s advertising. It’s very, very cute. It’s very sentimental. A Pepsi ad is a great and great way to showcase a record. The record companies simply don’t have the money to fund this kind of ad. “


Needless to say, the new song caused a lot of excitement and the commercial was supposed to be released during the Grammy Awards, which is sure to attract a lot of viewers.

In accordance with Today in the story of the Madonna, “Approximately 250 million viewers in over 40 countries watched a single broadcast “Make a wish” “which was the first time a mainstream artist has launched a lead single as part of an ad campaign prior to its official radio or MTV release.”

Sounds great, but everything quickly went in a spiral.

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Madonna’s video was too controversial for Pepsi and the Pope

A month after the ad debuted, Madonna scrapped her music video, sparking an immediate wave of controversy. The video showed a number of things that were considered shocking at the time, and in the blink of an eye, the singer was caught up in controversy.

In accordance with ETAt the beginning of the video, Madonna witnesses the murder of a young woman, then the video shows an innocent African American imprisoned by the police before Madonna eventually escapes to church. There she sees a wax saint who looks like an arrested man who ends up she comes to life and kisses her. Throughout the video, Madonna sings in front of burning crosses, in a church with a children’s choir, and in moments of erotic hugs with an African American religious leader. “


The outrage that arose prompted a boycott and massive backlash from large groups and influential people, including the Pope. It was a backlash that Pepsi was definitely not counting on, and just days after the music video sparked serious backlash, Pepsi decided to end Madonna.

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Despite everything that happened, the song became a huge hit and the album was a huge success as well. Madonna’s commercial hasn’t aired just once, but its notorious legacy hasn’t faded yet.


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