Long before Pepsi got Beyoncé, Britney Spears, and Pink to star in a commercial together, they already threw down the gauntlet to prove they were the soda of choice for pop stars. In 1984, Michael Jackson and the rest of the Jackson 5 lent their talents to the now-famous “Pepsi Generation” commercial. The ad comes complete with a song parody of Jackson’s most famous hit at the time — “Billie Jean” — with Pepsi-inspired lyrics to boot.
It’s tough to upstage one of the most iconic singers of all time, but many would argue Alfonso Ribeiro accomplished precisely that. The future “Fresh Prince” star appears in the commercial as the kid dressed in Michael Jackson’s signature red jacket. He dances all through the street with a Pepsi in hand until he moonwalks right into The Gloved One. An all-out dance party breaks out in the road as everyone guzzles down Pepsis.
The commercial, which has since been viewed over 110 million times on YouTube, was one of Ribeiro’s first acting credits and helped launch him into superstardom. From there, he performed in “Magnum, P.I.,” “Silver Spoons,” and, of course, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”