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EVENT REPORT

Pepsi and 'Billboard' End Summer Concert Series With Homage to Michael Jackson

During performances by Ne-Yo (pictured), Melanie Fiona, Swizz Beatz, and DJ Cassidy, photos of Michael Jackson were splashed across the screens onstage.

Photo: Larry Busacca & Michael Loccisano

To celebrate its “Live for Now” campaign during the summer months, Pepsi partnered with Billboard to host the first ever Summer Beats Concert Series—a three-concert event that spanned June, July, and August and hit Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York.

To end the music-filled summer series on a high note, the beverage brand and magazine celebrated the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson's Bad album at Gotham Hall on August 29. The celebration was even more fitting as the relationship between Pepsi and Jackson goes way back: The brand sponsored the original Bad tour, and the Jackson clan starred in Pepsi's first campaign in 1983.

Promotion for the event was blasted via radio spots, one billion special-edition Michael Jackson Pepsi cans, and social media activations. The concert, which reeled in around 1,350 guests, was also live-streamed via Twitter so fans from all over the could watch the tribute performances from Ne-Yo, Melanie Fiona, Swizz Beatz, and DJ Cassidy. To further enhance Twitter engagement among Pepsi, Billboard, and Jackson enthusiasts, consumers could win tickets to the event by using the #PepsiRSVP hashtag, and ask the celebrity performers questions (with an expected direct-response Tweet) by using the #SummerBeats hashtag.


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