If someone would have told us back then that pop music legend and green celebrity Elton John would be in a Super Bowl commercial with Melanie Amaro, our first question would have been to wonder which famous song of his they were planning to spin for the football crowd to make their marketing ploy the greatest hit. Perhaps we were still awe-struck by Madonna dressed up like an Egyptian goddess who morphed herself into a Roman Legionnaire, we didn’t see this year’s twist coming… that the new Pepsi ad would be a royal joke. Here’s the Elton John Super Bowl commercial review for 2012…
We all know Elton John as that crazy piano player super star. Elton is (without a doubt) a music superstar as his four-decade career has sold more than 250 million records. His single Candle in the Wind 1997 for Princess Diana has sold over 33 million copies worldwide, and is the best-selling single in Billboard history.
Should the Pepsi Super Bowl commercial writers who overlooked his musical career be put in a dungeon for coming up with the commercial featuring the pop music star as the head of the King’s Court?
The marketing department elected to use visual gags to make it funny, not music to sell soda pop because people remembered a catchy jingle after hearing it. Are they really selling more product by making video clips that will surely go viral on YouTube now or would they have been better off trying to sway consumers to buy their products while singing a tune in their head while walking by the product aisles of their local grocery store?
Fans of the reality television show X Factor were anxiously awaiting the promised celebrity-filled Pepsi commercial featuring this year’s winner Melanie Amaro. During the TV competition, viewers were teased with video clips of past Pepsi commercials showing the singing and dancing talents of big name super stars like Michael Jackson and Britney Spears joking around and over-the top performing to help sell soda.
If Pepsi wanted to sell more sodas, a remake of an old song by him or a new duet featuring Elton John and Melanie Amaro would have got the company more attention, we think… as the cutesy Coca Cola polar bear commercials have done so well not simply because of the advertising video clips that go viral but because the cute icons translate back to a box, can, shelf end cap display, or billboard well.
For the baby boomer in the crowd, Elton John looked pretty much as we remember him, the crazy guy in the crazy costumes. In fact the over done medieval suit he wore in the Pepsi commercial looked like something that might actually have come from his personal collection. But in the commercial, he did not sing, not did he play the piano. One of the best-selling pop stars of all time played a caricature of himself as a pompous King. Anyone who cares to explain the deeper meaning of this skit, feel free to elaborate.
[Ricky Gervais got the dirtiest look of the night when he was hosting from Sir Elton John himself when he made a "queen" joke about the openly gay star... but the rumors were he was more upset that singer Madonna -- who also performed live at the 2012 Superbowl -- beat him out of what he felt should have been his best song award.]
As far as Melanie Amaro, she had the opportunity to belt out a few lines of the Aretha Franklin classic Respect, but still…
After the King, Elton John, acknowledges her performance, Amaro opens a trap door which sends Elton John to the Dungeon. Melanie Amaro is just starting out, with a knock out voice that should power her to a long career in the music world. Hopefully no one will blame her for the silliness of this commercial.
On a positive note, Amaro said, “working with Elton John was also a real treat, and she asked him for a lot of tips on how he sold that many albums. Another perk, Amaro said, was working with Flavor Flav, who had her laughing the whole time…” during her celebrity interview with Fox News Chicago.
But talking openly in a Super Cowl commercial review?
So much musical talent on stage between Elton John and Melanie Amaro, and we are treated to a one minute comedy skit that does nothing to show case the talents of Amaro. Wasn’t this to be a reward for Amaro? Instead there were millions of people focused on the questions of “was that Elton John?” and “What was that supposed to mean?” And worse. Unlike the Coca Cola polar bear commercials, there is no stuff to sell based on it.
Coke uses the adorable bears to help raise money to stop global warming, to protect the wildlife as an endangered species, and sells or can give away marketing merchandise like hats, t-shirts, polar bear scarves and little toy stuffed animal polar bears.
What is Pepsi going to do? Sell posters of Elton John in king garb? Make a run on the ladies clothing market at renaissance fairs? Sell big Pepsi Cola clocks that people can hang around their neck so they look like modern day hip-hop court jesters? Good sport celebrity athlete David Beckham selling underwear these people are not.
Elton John, one of the most successful recording stars of all time, is also one of the most generous of all time in sharing of his wealth with dozens of charitable causes. In 2004 he donated over $43 million to organizations around the world, making him the most generous person in music for that year, a title he retains year after year.
Elton John (known for being the original king of queens) has been knighted, was a family guest at the Royal Wedding of royal family members Kate Middleton and Prince William, and has dined countless times with international royalty. We really wanted to enjoy the commercial, but we are still scratching our head wondering why in the King’s Court Pepsi Super Bowl Commercial Elton John’s talents are wasted. And equally wondering why X Factor Melanie Amaro’s time in the spotlight was equally wasted.
From a marketing standpoint, while they will be able to derive ad revenue from the video clip of the new Pepsi Superbowl commercial, our review is that they really did the star celebs and themselves a great disservice. David Beckham can sell tightie-whitey mens underwear by posing for their pics in his trademark skivvies costume because he has a celebrity athlete’s body and killer tattoos. Polar bears can sell coke because they appeal to kids as well as adults and are super cute. But Elton John and Melanie Amaro’s strength as Hollywood celebs isn’t good looks — their voices and musical talents are what make them special and unique as potential marketing tools. Having them sell products and not sing was a major celebrity endorsement OOPS.