When I was in middle school, there was no one bigger than Britney Spears. In the seventh grade, I listened to her second album Oops!... I Did It Again every night as I fell asleep; the latter half, where the slower tracks were — starting with "Lucky," straight through to "Dear Diary" usually did the trick. It spoke to me. And yet, I don't ever find myself walking through a CVS and suddenly getting "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know" in my head (kind of wish I did, though). I even had a soft spot for Britney's "Joy of Pepsi" song from her 2002 Super Bowl commercial.
Of course, there were downsides to Spears' epic deal with Pepsi. There are a few songs from that era that will forever plague me, like the time she exclaimed "The lively crowd, today agrees, those who think young say, Pepsi please!" That is the verse that has taken up the most amount of space in my brain for the last 13 years.
For the uninitiated, in 2001, Spears struck a famous $8 million Pepsi deal to be the company's spokesperson. And that contract is the gift that keeps on giving, not only to Spears' bank account, but to commercial history as we know it. That's right: the early 2000s Britney Spears songs that unwittingly float into my head most often are the two originals she did for Pepsi commercials during her stint as a Pepsi commercial. Of course, there was the unforgettable "Pepsi Millennium" series, where 8th grade me considered it a personal gift that I got to see what Brit would have looked like in each decade from the 50s onward.
But like I said, Spears' most epic turn with Pepsi, and the song I still jam to every once in a while, had to be her controversial — at the time — "Joy of Pepsi" Super Bowl commercial from 2002, that was the final installment of her "Pepsi Millennium" series:
And while the song was actually kind of good (weird, I know), there are a few other reasons this ad was just as good as a music video:
From the moment Brit rips off her Pepsi coveralls and tosses that burdensome hat, you know things are going to get good.
And then when things get meta to reveal that other viewers are just as enthralled by Britney's moves, silver-painted flare jeans and bustier top as you
Of course after the initial "ba pa pa pa ba pa pa pas," Brit hits us with the slo-mo — "The world goes round and round/But some things never change" — and your world was never the same again. Definitely not after that rooftop outfit change into full purple leather.
And you'll never forget just before the commercial ended when, who should show up as an excited viewer, but Bob Dole, his golden retriever, and all of the implications of him being a Viagra spokesperson at the time: "Easy Boy."
The Joy of Pepsi and Britney...
...Truly the love story of our generation.