Beyonce, and us, are better off without Pepsi

Beyonce has signed up with Pepsi, part of its answer to Coca-Cola’s attempt to take over the music business. She’ll be the centrepiece of its Super Bowl extravaganza and, no doubt, ‘brand ambassador’ all over the place.

Well fifty million bucks is a lot of money, although she hardly needs it.

But isn’t it a shame that the big corps are vampire-squidding the music biz? The record companies are bad enough – Sony’s Universal Music gets the most hisses and boos. Music used to be a (fairly) free spirit even when the business was full of crooks and charlatans. And so did Beyonce. Eight years ago she almost blew Prince off the stage at the Grammys.

Marketing, and indeed big companies, play a useful role in life (for the most part). But what marketing types ignore is the red line between surfing something we all like and trying to take the fucking thing over.

It’s a matter of taste, where to draw the line – and it’s in rather short supply.

Interestingly, His Purpleness, although one of the biggest egos in a small frame since Napoleon, is brilliant at duets.

Here’s his Nothing Compares 2 U, best known for Sinead O’Connor’s mega-hit, which he only recorded as a duet, with Rosie Gaines I think.

Magnificent, just like Beyonce was all those years ago.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.