A throwback to Pepsi's non-problematic commercials with J-Pop stars
Pepsi fucked up. They really did. Their commercial featuring Kendall Jenner was problematic on multiple levels. But rather than give air time to that tone deaf, train wreck of a commercial, we're going to take a look at when the Pepsi team in Japan stayed in their lane and just gave us cool little ditties of commercials, soundtracked by bottle fresh bops.
Whilst mainstream pop fans are reminiscing over when Pepsi did good commercials with Britney Spears, P!nk and Beyonce. Let's reminisce over when Pepsi did good commercials with Perfume, Kumi Koda and Hikaru Utada.
Perfume's Pepsi commercial kick started what would become a trend for the group in terms of product tie-ins, all the damn time. For everything. Yet it is the anomaly, as it's the one product tie in that Perfume have done which features a song of theirs which was never released as a single or featured on an album. Some fans are still salty over the full length Nakata produced cover of The Cardigans' "Lovefool" never seeing the light of day. What this Pepsi commercial also cemented was that when it comes to Perfume's visual style, it is never compromised. Whilst this commercial was wholly on brand and utilised an aesthetic that Pepsi would keep for all of their Nex commercials, it was still distinctly Perfume; with the girls wearing their now distinctive outfits cuts, performing their unique choreography and of course being surrounded by Pepsi bottles forming a triangle, because we know these bitches love triangles. Not to mention that their latest album at this point was also named Triangle.
Kumi Koda has somewhat of a history with bottles. Whilst most hardcore fans may have been secretly hoping to see Kumi ho it up and squat over a bottle of Pepsi, Pepsi weren't trying to come under fire. At least not back then. Kumi's commercial followed the trend of all Pepsi Nex commercials, by having her sing it out with a bunch of dancing bottles to a cover song. Kumi took on Cheryl Lynn's "Got to be real", which sounded much better than it seemed it would on paper.
Hikaru Utada's hiatus went off with a bang with her being the face of Pepsi back in 2010, and 2 new songs of hers featuring in their commericals. Initially the collaboration seemed quite odd and out of character for an artist like Hikaru Utada. But then I remembered the videos for "Travelling", "Keep tryin'" and "Goodbye happiness" and it didn't seem that odd after all. Most fans were to sprung over the fact that she was actually doing something after years of being under a rock and having nothing but Kingdom Hearts spin-offs and re-releases running "Simple and clean" into the fucking ground to even care that Hikaru Utada was performing with Pepsi bottles on a double bass, keyboards and drums.
Hikaru Utada's Pepsi Nex commercial which features "Can't wait til Christmas" is unique in that it didn't feature a cover of an existing song as every other Pepsi Nex commercial did. But if Hikaru Utada is taking time out of her un-busy schedule to grace you with her presence in order for you to sell some 6 packs of Pepsi, you just do what the fuck she wants. If she wants to push her new ballad and not some cover, then let a bitch.