Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Commercials: Pepsi

Pepsi is known for having some pretty interesting commercials. In the early 90s alone there were more different Pepsi commercials than I could count, maybe even more than there are today, and they were ALWAYS on. You couldn't escape them if you tried. Maybe this is why I prefer Coke.

Does the "Chill Out" hand gesture ring a bell? In the summer of 1991, Pepsi ran a series of "Summer Fun" commercials in which people on the beach (including Bo Jackson, Dr. Ruth, and Gilbert Gottfried) did that inane hand thing to the song "California Sun" by The Dictators (famously covered by The Ramones). My group at day camp actually used that commercial as the basis for our skit/dance type thing at Parents Night. The skit consisted of us doing typical beach activities to "California Sun". We made a giant Pepsi can and at the end, the lone boy in our group popped out of it and we all did the gesture. I think that commercial ruined "California Sun" for me. Every time I hear it, my hand stubbornly starts to "chill out".

Whew, that was long-winded. Here's just 1/5,679 of those commercials:

"You got the right one baby... uh-huh!" It's unfortunate that this campaign caused a generation of kids to refer to Ray Charles as "that guy in the Pepsi commercial". Pepsi sure went all out here. This was one epic ad:

1992. The "Gotta Have It" campaign. Did anyone else have a Gotta Have It card? I got mine when they were handing them out for free at the mall. I don't recall actually using it for anything and still don't know exactly what it was for, but my eight year old self sure was psyched to have a "credit card".

Upon searching the internet, I discovered that the card was good for discounts on Reeboks, Continental Airlines tickets, and MCI (now Verizon) long distance. Gee, what a barrel of fun.

Here's one of the commercials, featuring Yogi Berra, Regis Philbin, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and... Brenda Walsh.

Pepsi Crystal. Boy did that receive a lot of backlash. I drank it one time and it didn't taste too different from regular Pepsi to me. Then again, I was drinking it from a can, so maybe that ruined the effect.

The commercial, featuring "Right Now" by Van Halen (yet another song that Pepsi managed to ruin for me):

And for the piece de resistance, here's the infamous MC Hammer commercial. Damn, the cola wars were brutal back then.


offensive_jerk said...

I remember the "Gotta Have It" cards.

In Elementary School we had our own slogan for it: Gotta get a Gotta Have it Card.

Cheesy, I know, but it was fun to say.

These cards would also allow you to get free refils of fountain sodas at gas stations and such.

We would drink lots of soda before school thanks to these wonderful cards.

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