3.2 The Pepsi commercial
Jack Doyle, on his website on the history of popular culture (PopHistoryDig.com) tellingly exposes that Madonna’s first real controversy, the video clip ‘Like a Prayer’ that brought her global fame, was part of a television commercial campaign. As he sums it up, in the late 1980s, the two major soft drinks companies, Coca-Cola and Pepsi were engaged in a competition to reach millions of customers in soft-drink consuming. They thought it is an effective way to promote soft-drink consumption by hiring performer artists in television advertisements. Pepsi contracted music stars like Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. It is in the course of this television campaign that the 60-second ads became established as the new…show more content… The way the singer and Pepsi integrated the release of this new album can demonstrate the commercialization of the popular music videos in the sphere of MTV. As Doyle observes, Pepsi even made a special ‘ad for the ad’ – a teaser video to announce the ad’s release before it ran. In order to advertise the two-minute Pepsi ad with Madonna, Pepsi ran a teaser spot during the nationally-televised Grammy music awards in February 1989.
In the teaser, a narrator’s voice runs over a short film. The clip was showing an aboriginal man in a desert making his way to a hut with satellite dish. The advertisement says: “No matter where you are in the world on March 2nd, get to a T.V. and watch Pepsi’s two-minute Madonna commercial featuring her latest release, ‘Like a Prayer’– for the very first time.” (Doyle, 2008)
According to Doyle’s account of the events, the release of the video commercial was due in March, 1989, after the release of the ‘Like a Prayer’ album. The first objections came from Rev. Donald Wildmond of the American Family Association, a Christian group. Wildmond threatened by boycotting Pepsi because their commercial is “putting Madonna up as a clean, wholesome role model” on the one hand, while her MTV video on the other hand was ‘ridiculing Christianity’. (Doyle,…show more content… Music Television and its influences on consumer culture, and the transmission of consumption messages. Advances in Consumer Research. Vol. 18, 111-114. available at:http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/display.asp?id=7147 access: 17/04/12
Fiske, John. 1987. Television Culture, London: Menthuen
Freccero, Carla. 1992. Our Lady of MTV: Madonna’s ’’Like a prayer”163-183
Gaugler,Audra 2000, “Madonna, an American pop icon of feminism and counter-hegemony: blurring the boundries of race, gender, and sexuality by of Audra Gaugler” 2000.Thesis and Dissertations,Paper 662. 1-66.
Guld, Ádám. Spring 2009, A Madonna-jelenség és a sztárság konstituálódása a posztmodern médiában,17-33 available at: http://ww.mediakutato.hu/cikk/2009_01_tavasz/02_madonna-jelenség_es_sztarsag access: 03/09/2013
Kaplan, E. Ann. 1987. Rocking Around the Clock: Music Television, Postmodernism, and Consumer Culture. New York: Methuen
Kellner, Douglas. 1995. Media Culture, New York and London: Routledge
“Madonna on Religion” YouTube, interview, 2006. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkDvFA6mVWs Access :28/04/14
“Madonna speaks about Marriage, Religion and her Critics.” 2010 YouTube, interview, Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnvBjQ0F9rs