Local songstress Tami Chynn and deejay Shaggy have been chosen by the international drink company Pepsi to record and appear in its latest advertising campaign.
The two artistes, along with United States entertainer T-Pain, have recorded three commercials (their versions of the funk 1974 classic Kung Fu Fighting by Jamaican Carl Douglas) for the giant drink company.
Directed by award-winning director Fredrik Bond, the commercial also features comedic actor Verne ‘Mini Me’ Troyer.
When the STAR spoke with Ellen Healy, director of sports and entertainment of PepsiCo International, she explained that the commercial was filmed in Los Angeles at Universal Studios earlier this year.
She explained to THE STAR how the artistes were chosen. “Pepsi was fortunate to be given a sneak peak at how talented Tami Chynn is and we wanted to help her make it to the global stage. We believe that brands like Pepsi can help enable young talent. Akon introduced me to Tami when we were both in London earlier this year. Tami and her manager met with us in New York and shared her new single and album. When the ‘Pepsi Kung Fu Fighting’ song and TV ad concept was created, we thought she’d be a great fit.”
Recently, Chynn began making strides internationally after signing to Akon’s label Konvict Muzik. Chynn’s sophomore album Prima Donna, was launched in January and the lead single, Frozen featuring Akon, has garnered attention and accompanying air play. Chynn is also set to open for New Kids on the Block on their tour during October.
Healy further said that Pepsi had been looking to create a new spin on the song, Kung Fu Fighting, when the artistes were approached. “We approached many great artistes that had unique music tastes and sounds. We love what Shaggy did to create a new vibe to the old song Kung Fu Fighting, he truly brought in his signature sound so we selected his version of the song too,” she said.
Tami Chynn’s version of the commercial was placed on Youtube on September 14. The start of the commercial sees the artiste deejaying, “its your girl Tami Chynn, always representing”, as she walks alongside T-Pain. It continues with two men fighting over a can of Pepsi. Shaggy is seen in the commercial wearing a green suit and sitting in a small car.
As to where the commercials will be aired, Healy said that the media, promotional footprint and timing have not yet been determined.
With their commercials, Chynn and Shaggy join a list of iconic entertainers who have recorded for Pepsi. They include divas Britney Spears, Beyonce and Pink, along with jazz legend Ray Charles, pop icon Michael Jackson, supermodel Cindy Crawford, basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, Latin American sensation Shakira and actress Halle Berry. The television commercial will officially be launched on www.pepsikungfu.com.