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Saturday
Feb062016

Nearly 30 Years After "Like a Prayer" Furor, Madonna Song Featured in New Pepsi Super Bowl Commercial

Christopher Polk/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It just goes to show that if you wait long enough, all scandals will fade away.  Pepsi's big Super Bowl commercial this Sunday will include a classic Madonna song -- nearly thirty years after the soft-drink company had to pull an ad featuring another Madonna tune.

In 1989, Madonna's hit "Like a Prayer" was featured in a Pepsi commercial, but controversy soon erupted over the song's video, which featured the singer kissing a black saint and other provocative uses of Catholic imagery.  The Vatican condemned the video, and family and religious groups threatened a boycott of Pepsi products.  Pepsi caved, the ad was pulled and Madonna's contract was canceled, though she kept her initial fee. 

Now, another classic Madonna tune -- "Express Yourself" -- is featured in Pepsi's new commercial, which has a theme of past, present and future.

The spot, starring R&B singer Janelle Monae [moh-NAY], starts with her dancing to the sixties hit "Do You Love Me" by the Contours. Next, she's sporting an early Madonna outfit and dancing to "Express Yourself." The spot ends with Janelle singing her updated version of the "Joy of Pepsi" jingle.

As for why "Express Yourself," which appears on Madonna's 1989 album Like a Prayer, was chosen, Pepsi VP of marketing Chad Stubbs tells Ad Age, "It was within that album and era that we had worked with Madonna before."

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