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The Joy Of Pepsi: Britney Spears' Most Famous Commercial Is Back - With A Twist

In 2001, Britney Spears starred in a Pepsi commercial called "The Joy of Pepsi" as a title card reads at its conclusion. Now, to commemorate the company's 125th anniversary, the ad will air on TV once again with a slight twist.

The original commercial opens on footage of Spears performing an original song in a Pepsi factory complete with choreography for her and a team of backup dancers as if she were in concert. After a twenty seconds or so, it cuts to a mesmerized diner cook abandoning his flat top grill, now fully on fire, to watch Spears' performance on TV. The spot then starts alternating between Spears and other observers, also paying rapt attention — including the firefighters that eventually show up to put out the diner cook's fire.

As detailed by People, Pepsi is re-releasing some of its most notable commercials in high definition and with the company's new logo replacing its outdated brand identity. Among these is Spears' "Joy of Pepsi" ad, the new version of which consists entirely of Spears dancing, forgoing the outside observers. In fact, "The Joy of Pepsi" is even returning to TV at some point during the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards. Also making an appearance during that same broadcast is brief romantic comedy actor Madonna's "Like a Prayer" Pepsi commercial that first premiered in 1989.

Britney Spears' Joy of Pepsi is a relic of a bygone era

After the announcement of her "Joy of Pepsi" commercial's reprisal, Netflix documentary subject Britney Spears told People that she's personally looking forward to seeing it on TV once again. "This was such an iconic music video-styled spot that we shot 20 years ago, and [it] still resonates so much with fans," she said.

In 2001, when the commercial premiered, both Spears and TV advertising were at peak relevance. Its use of the biggest pop star in the zeitgeist at the time in a big budget, unironic celebration of a major brand is more-or-less unfeasible in the present day. Furthermore, plenty of adults first saw that commercial as children, making its re-release 22 years later aptly timed for their childhood nostalgia.

Author Cassandra Violet wrote about the commercial's power in a piece on Medium, arguing that the mythic aura around Spears at the time of the commercial's release — represented by the entranced observers watching her in the ad — marked the peak of pop star worship, for better or for worse. Those who might remember the ad interested in seeing the updated version on TV can catch it during the VMAs on September 12.