There was a time viewers couldn't turn on the TV without seeing the King of Pop opening a Pepsi or hearing Karl Malden warning everyone not to leave home without an American Express card. But the recent death of mega sellers like Jackson, Malden, Farrah Fawcett, and Ed McMahon signals the end of an era, reports Advertising Age. The fracturing of the media audience insures that no one will replace them.
Ads no longer achieve the stature and ubiquity they had in 1983, when Michael Jackson signed his record-breaking endorsement deal with Pepsi. "That was back in the era of the Big Three, not the Big 300 available to some households," notes a media buyer. "Today, it's hard to imagine the small screen creating such a big sensation." Only the Super Bowl and the Oscars have hung on to the massive audiences of yesteryear.