On this day in 1989, Madonna officially launched her $5 million endorsement deal with Pepsi, continuing the ’80s trend of drink companies recruiting big-time pop stars to promote their products. Madonna’s first Pepsi commercial extended to almost become a music video in and of itself.

Pepsi aimed to continue the enormous success they’d achieved with Michael Jackson when they featured the King of Pop singing and dancing in an ad modifying “Billie Jean” for the Pepsi generation.

The difference here was Madonna refused to change any of the lyrics in her single “Like a Prayer” to insert “Pepsi” into any part of it. Obviously, Pepsi didn’t really care about that part because they went with the ad campaign anyway.

The single ad its video garnered plenty of controversy for its mixture of sexual and religious themes, even being condemned by the Vatican. But that publicity turned out to make the single – and the Pepsi ad – an even bigger success than expected.

Watch the original Pepsi ad featuring Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” below. Whose ad do you like more, Madonna’s or M.J.’s?

[metrolyrics artist=”madonna” song=”like a prayer”]

Trivia Code: PRAYER


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