Missy Elliott and H.E.R. redo ‘Paint it Black’ in Super Bowl commercial
Pepsi is getting back to its pop music roots with its Super Bowl ad. The brand confirmed today that the spot will feature a version of the Rolling Stones classic “Paint it Black” performed by hip-hop legend Missy Elliot and up-and-coming artist H.E.R.
The soda brand—which on Tuesday announced that the two artists would star in the ad—released two teasers on Friday that show each performer and the opening notes to the song. The track was made especially for the commercial, and at this point is not expected to get a wider release. The teasers end with Pepsi’s new tagline, “That’s What I Like,” which was introduced earlier this month. The 30-second spot will plug Pepsi Zero Sugar’s new matte black can. Goodby Silverstein & Partners handled the ad.
The song was co-produced by Elliot and her long-time collaborator, Timbaland, and features guitar and vocals by H.E.R. and a verse from Missy, according to Pepsi. “Pepsi is doubling down on its commitment to music and artists, providing Missy Elliott and H.E.R. creative license to build a song and video concept true to their style for fans to enjoy,” the brand said in a statement.
Elliott complimented H.E.R.’s “energy in the studio,” in a statement provided by Pepsi, and said, “I am excited to have a fellow badass woman by my side throughout this collaboration.”
It’s not the first time a brand has used a cover of the Stones classic in an ad. Ford in 2018 deployed an orchestral version of the tune in an ad, as a reference to Model T lore and a quote attributed to Henry Ford: "You can have any color as long as it's black."
Pepsi, of course, has a long history of putting pop-music starts in ads, including Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Tina Turner, David Bowie, Britney Spears, Pink and Ray Charles.