Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Giovedi 2 Marzo 22:25 - Madonna and Pepsi - The Big Bang

The Italian Madonna Pepsi Teaser Commercial. I always loved how there was a commercial for the commercial. The American version of this was first shown on February 22, 1989 during the Grammy Awards revealing the forthcoming March 2 debut of Madonna's Pepsi commercial that would feature the new song from her new album, Like a Prayer.

The actual commercial was shown just once on March 2, 1989 during America's number one television program, The Cosby Show. It was simultaneously shown in 40 countries around the world to 250 million viewers. The first time in media history that a commercial had an around the world satellite premiere.

The following day on MTV, Madonna premiered her fabulous video for the song, Like a Prayer. The shyt hit the fan. Pepsi withheld further airings of the commercial which were to be edited down 30 second spots of the original. Madonna was also supposed to shoot a second commercial that would announce her upcoming tour with the Pepsi logo all up and through. Never happened.

Christian groups went berserk. Christian fundamentalist, Reverend Donald Wildmon was so appalled with Madonna's video that he threatened to have his American Family Association 380,000 subscribers boycott Pepsi. Then Catholic Bishop, Rene Gracido also called Madonna's video offensive and threatened to not only going after Pepsi but it's other multi-million dollar fast food restaurants, as well. To top it all off, the Pope and the Vatican released a statement damning Madonna. Pepsi bowed out. We never got the second commercial and Madonna said, Eat It!!! - (not an actual quote) - and kept the 5 million bucks.

Click Here for a previous post that shows a great program explaining and illustrating not only the Pepsi controversy but also one of Madonna's Greatest Videos of All Time - Like a Prayer: Videos That Rocked The World.

Trivia: On March 3, 2010 - 21 years to the day Like a Prayer premiered on MTV, Rev. Donald Wildmon stepped down from the American Family Association.


  1. Brilliant post!

    This "episode" in Madonna's career is a major highlight for me. Get goosebumps even thinking about what it was like back then LOL!

    BTW, because of time international time differences of course, we got the main ad in the UK a few hours before USA - at 8:13pm GMT actually.

    But viewers over here who could tune into Irish TV actually got to see the 2 minute ad even earlier - it premiered at 7:30pm GMT on Irish TV and their "teaser" ad described the Irish broadcast as the "WORLD PREMIERE". I wonder did it air earlier though in Australia / Japan etc., who are even further ahead timewise?

    The 30 second condensed ad which Pud mentions above (the one that was pulled in US), was also not shown in the UK as far as I know. Strangely though, this short version of the ad aired heavily on Irish TV right through March and April 1989! Ireland in the 80s being a pretty strict Catholic country makes this a bit ironic in my opinion LOL!

    Final bit of trivia I've got is that I only discovered recently that there's also a Spanish language version of the ad - with Madonna delivering her "Go Ahead - Make a Wish" line in Spanish. And it's not overdubbed audio - it's actually specially filmed. You can see the short version of that Spanish ad here:

  2. I still own the VHS with the commercial,it was an epic moment,I remember well.I loved the look,and of course the majestic Like A Prayer.
    In Italy they did a similar thing with the premiere of Express Yourself.I remember a teasing short video with her crawling under the table,with thunders,and the phrase MADONNA IS COMING on the screen.It was so stunning.I've never seen that footage anywhere,and I have it on tape,obviously don't know where exactly.
    Thanks Pud!

  3. Pepsi was so stupid for stopping that video! They would have made millions and millions! Great commercial!

  4. Amazing.

    This is a kind of thing thar goes to the history of human behaviour and culture.

  5. The video CodeX is referring to (Express Yourself "Madonna Is Coming" trailer) can be watched here! :-)

  6. fabulous stuff guys. jamesy always rock'n it. xo

    i still have it on vhs, too. it was such a brilliant time. THE GREATEST STAR THAT EVER LIVED.

    and thanks guys for brining all this cool shyt up in here, cheering me up on a sad day. elizabeth RIP!!!! xoxoxo


  7. LOVE this ad! the best pepsi ad for me!!!

  8. Thanks M.Tv,after all these years,I remembered it exactly like this!

    (and yeah goodbye Elizabeth,the ultimate star)

  9. At this particular moment in my life, I was working in the Head Office of PepsiCo of Europe and still remember the furore, the panic among bosses and the phone calls. I was about 18 at the time (on the Y.T.S - good times) and didn't see what the big deal was. It was Madonna just being Madonna in my eyes.

  10. I still have both on vhs! I can still feel the tingles when I watch the teaser ad. And of course I was watching the fucking Cosby show with vcr remote in hand to tape the pepsi ad. Awww goooood memories! Thank ya pud!

  11. Thanks Pud and guys (especially madonna-tv) for sharing your memories, it's very interesting! I didn't know about some details.

  12. This is all too amazing!

    Her best album AND her best era!!