How The Mighty Have Fallen: The Inextricable Link Between Pepsi and Britney Spears
We won’t be deceived any longer.
It’s been exactly one week since Pepsi pulled its infamous ad, featuring model Kendall Jenner, from the airwaves. In it, Jenner heroically ends racism, stamps out police brutality, and shatters the glass ceiling, all with a single can of soda. Within 24 hours of its release, the commercial went viral, and Americans came together in a means so instantaneous, that one can’t help but compare the video to Toby Keith’s post-9/11 triumph, “Courtesy of the Red, White And Blue.” Try as Pepsi might to mitigate the backlash, the damage was done. By the end of the week the company’s stock prices had dropped by roughly 1.5 points.
But what if the dip in Pepsi’s stock prices wasn’t related to the Jenner ad at all? What if, instead, a more powerful force is in play, has been in play for decades? What if Pepsi’s entire fate is pinned to the life and times of American treasure Britney Spears?
In the early 2000s, Britney Spears was not only the Queen of Pop, she was also the Queen of Pepsi. In February 2002, Brit signed a contract with Pepsi Cola, effectively becoming the face of the company for the next several years. A simple Google search of “Britney Spears Pepsi” yields a plethora of commercials featuring the pop princess, including the now classic 2004 Super Bowl advert in which Pink and Beyonce join Spears as sexy gladiators, straight up slaying “We Will Rock You” while Emperor Enrique Iglesias gets snacked on by a lion. If you don’t remember this ad, A) You need to watch it now, and B) You really need to reevaluate your priorities.
Incensed by last week’s monumental train wreck of a “short film”, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and watch a few of Pepsi’s finer ads. But my Britney Spears-related searches lead me to much more than commercial spots featuring tight choreography and breathy vocals. Rather, they revealed something that I just can’t stop thinking about. Every major Pepsi success or failure mirrors, almost to a t, the successes and failures of Miss Spears.
I first noticed something was strange when Pepsi pulled the Jenner ad last Thursday, April 6, after the American public called out the company for exploiting issues of social justice for financial gain. On that same day, April 6, it was announced that the Israeli Labor Party’s primary election (originally set for July 3 of this year) would be postponed DUE TO A BRITNEY SPEARS CONCERT SCHEDULED FOR JULY 3 IN TEL AVIV. While it could be a simple coincidence that both Pepsi and Spears stood in the way of democracy on the same day, further examination of Brit’s movements and Pepsi’s financial situation indicate that this is not merely a matter of chance. It is a pattern that stems all the way back to the 1980s.
Britney Spears was born on December 2, 1981. Before Brit’s birth, Pepsico saw minimal fluctuation in its stock prices, and growth was low to say the least. However, beginning in the early 1980s, the company’s stock prices began a consistent upward climb. In December of 1981, Pepsi stock sat a mere $1.89 a share. By March 1990, Pepsi’s shares were priced at $12.31. In a little less than nine years, Pepsi’s stock prices had grown by approximately 651%, marking what was only the beginning of the company’s growth. Dare I say that Britney’s mere existence was the catalyst?
Britney became a household name when she joined Disney’s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club in December of 1992. She performed on the show until it was cancelled in 1996. Pepsi’s financial situation during this time only echoed Brit’s career. Between December of 1992 and March of 1996, Pepsi’s stock prices jumped from $19.94 per share to $33.25 per share, a sign of the growth in Britney’s young career. Pepsi’s share prices then fell by $4.50 in the three short months between March and June, marking the cancellation of The Mickey Mouse Club and indicating market uncertainty regarding the future of Spear’s career.
On a more specific, short-term level, the evidence continues to suggest a link between Britney Spears and the financial situation of Pepsico. Though Pepsi stock did see a drop following the one-two punch of its controversial ad and the postponement of the Israeli elections, prices shot upward early this week. Why? With all of the negative press surrounding the company, it’s hard to believe that an outside force isn’t at work here. Is it a mere coincidence that pictures of Britney on vacation in Hawaii show her looking svelte in a white bikini surfaced on the same day that Pepsi’s stock prices ticked upward? Or that yesterday, when it was announced that Brit is ending her four-year Las Vegas residency later this year, that Pepsi shares almost immediately plummeted? It is all too convenient for there not to be a link between the two American icons.
Pepsi’s stock prices have surged upward since the beginning of Britney’s life and career, growing from $19.94 in December of 1992 to today’s astounding $113.02 a share. While this could be the result of the ever-expanding global market, the day-to-day fluctuations in Pepsi stock price mirror all too perfectly the fluctuations in Britney’s personal life for this author to believe that she has nothing to do with the financial situation of a company that was once synonymous with her name. While there is still much more research to be done regarding the connection between Britney Spears and Pepsi, it is my hope that this is at the very least, a step in the right direction. Corporations have tried to fool the public for too long, and Pepsi, along with the rest of the global market should be aware that they cannot pull the wool over the public’s eyes forever. We’re on to you.