Pepsi recently announced a summer marketing campaign centered around limited-edition cans featuring portraits of Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, and Britney Spears, all alumni of Pepsi’s decades-long marketing strategy of paying famous musicians lots of money. There’s no better place to honor a cultural icon than the side of an aluminum can destined for an ocean trash island or the claw of a wild lobster, and there’s no current pop act better positioned to bring Pepsi’s illustrious history of youth marketing into the present than EDM backwash generators the Chainsmokers, who’ve just been announced as the headlining act of a Live Nation-sponsored event called the Pepsi Generations Summer Music Campaign, happening July 24 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.
This, as the Associated Press reports, will be no ordinary Chainsmokers concert. In addition to their own songs, like “Closer” and “Roses,” Alex Pall and Drew Taggart have been specially commissioned to administer a set incorporating hits by prior artists in the Pepsi advertising pantheon, namely Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, and Beyoncé. AP further reports that the ‘Smokers will “probably cover Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’ and ‘Run the World (Girls),'” and that Taggart is “looking forward to seeing the crowd’s response.”
It should be noted that Pepsi once served a cocktail called “Hot Sauce in My Bag” at Kola House, its short-lived corporate simulacrum of a Manhattan bar and eatery; the drink was an aspirational spicy margarita with a tiny bottle of Tabasco clipped to it. If it sounds bad, it looks worse. Now imagine that, but live, and at the creative mercy of the Chainsmokers. Coke, anyone?