What Was Pepsi Thinking?
Unless you’re currently living under a rock that has no internet connection, I’m sure by now you have seen Pepsi’s sad attempt in commercial making. The ad is only 2 minutes and 39 seconds long and even in that small amount of time Pepsi was able to mock multiple movements and offend multiple people, all while making light of series situations many of us are currently facing. Due to a large amount of backlash, Pepsi has pulled the ad but the damage is already done. There are countless problems with this Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad but for this article let’s talk about a few of key issues that really stood out.
For starters, we are not even half way through this year and already there has been countless protest, boycotts, and marches worldwide. Pepsi has not taken the time to show support towards the BLM movement, the protest against the Muslim ban, or even the women’s march that took place, however, they had no problem in trying to make money off all those issues by turning them into an ad for soda. In recent years, major companies have been notorious for taking aspects of pop cultural and using them for their own agenda. Lipton Tea wasted no time incorporating Kermit the Frog into their ads when black twitter stated the “that’s none of my business” meme and to this day I’m still seeing ads with “on fleek” in them. The suffering and mistreatment of people, however, is something that should not be in an ad simply for the profit gain of a company and/or to sell a can of Pepsi.
Kendall Jenner is in the same boat of wrongness with Pepsi (I have not seen her actively speak out against any major issues). Kendall currently has over 78 million followers on Instagram, which is a huge platform that she could be using to speak out against a lot of mistreated people in America. However, while I was strolling through her page I couldn’t find a single post that showed solidarity with any cause or movement. Kendall is a huge celebrity who could do a lot just by speaking about certain issues and bringing light to those who might not now about them. Flint Michigan still needs clean water, Natives are fighting to keep pipelines off their land, police brutality is at a high, and Kendall Jenner decided to take a stand on which soda you should be drinking. No, celebrities don’t have to speak out against wrongful issues, but it is very distasteful to stay quiet while others are suffering then agree to do commercial mocking and making light of their suffering.
Dana Schwartz tried to come to Kendall’s side and protect her by saying she is only a child and didn’t know any better.
Kendall is a full-grown adult who is not exempt from being responsible for her actions. She read the script, she was told the concept, and she accepted the role and money that came with it. Black children in America are depicted as adults as soon as they hit puberty, they are taught at a young age how the world sees them and how to stay safe because of that. Twitter user @ztsamudzi responded to Dana by making a valid point in asking “At what age are white people responsible for their actions?”
Out of all of the things wrong with this Pepsi ad, the biggest cringe-worthy moment has got to be the ending when Kendall hands the police officer a can of Pepsi and all the problems she and her fellow protesters are facing just magically seems to fade away. Black people have been dealing with police brutality for decades now, and I highly doubt the solution to all their problems is handing a Pepsi to the officers who are mistreating them. Pepsi, whether they meant to or not, made it seem like Kendall is the world’s white savior that had the answer to world peace. Thankfully black twitter came ready with a strong clap back.
After the ad aired there was a city council meeting in Oregon where a real protester gave the Oregon mayor a Pepsi saying “What I realized is that the language of resistance has not been properly translated to you, so this is for you.” Unlike the police officer in the Pepsi ad, the Mayor was not amused and responded “Woah, woah, not a good move, not a smart move. Don’t do that again.” Almost immediately, police took the protester out of the room. All of this adds to what we already knew; Pepsi is NOT the solution to any of our problems. I wouldn’t even trust Pepsi to solve a simple problem of thirst.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Did you find issues with the ad and the message Pepsi tried to relay, if so what are they? Comment down below and tell us how you really feel about Pepsi’s ad and if you found it to be offensive or not.
Remember that if you took an L recently you can always rejoice in the fact that your L can’t compare with the L Pepsi and Kendall took this month with this horrible commercial, so be grateful you’re not them.
Twila-Amoure McDaniel31 Posts
Twila-Amoure McDaniel is a college student who is majoring in both communications and film studies. When she isn't in class she is more than likely somewhere making videos for her YouTube channel. Her passions include writing, art, and film-making and she currently has plans on going into the film industry. Twila-Amoure does have crohn's disease, however she is very determined not to allow that to stop her from achieving all of her goals in life. Be sure to follow her on all on her social media platforms @TwilaAmoure and feel free to browse through Campus Lately for more of her work.