Pepsi’s New Protest-Centered Commercial Fueled The Internet With Rage – But Should We Really Be That Mad About An Ad?

Today the internet has been SHOOK by a new Pepsi ad featuring reality star Kendall Jenner.

Jenner, who is for some reason having a photoshoot while a protest is happening right by her in the street, finally leaves the set to join the movement of attractive 20-somethings holding signs with nonspecific pleas like “Join the conversation.” Jenner, then breaks the tension barrier to hand the policeman a Pepsi. Of course the policeman drinks it, smiles, the music escalates and all was well. Good feels, right? Absolutely wrong.

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Like I said, the internet was SHOOK.

I get it, it’s racy to assume Pepsi can solve the very severe issue our country currently inhibits with police brutality. But that’s not what they were trying to do. They didn’t even single out the black lives matter movement, it was all generic protesting and people assume because the commercial features African Americans that it’s a BLM protest. But no matter what it is, step back for a second and take this commercial for what it really is: a corporation selling you soda. Period.

When is the last time an advertising campaign actually matched your post-purchase reality? Never. Advertisements prey off imagination and naivety. Your bra from Victoria’s Secret doesn’t give you busty D’s, buying Bud Light, the “beer for friends” doesn’t make you any less of a sack of shit drinking alone on your couch, signing up for Nationwide doesn’t make you buddies with Peyton Manning, and buying a soda doesn’t mean a damn thing other than the fact you’re going to feel lethargic for an hour after the initial buzz from drinking it. This isn’t news.

People think Pepsi was trying to trivialize the efforts of protestors. But I don’t. They were simply trying to romanticize the “good vibes” that their sugar water provides in correlation with one of the touchiest subjects of 2017. Not the smartest move in regards to sensitivity, but in regards to reaching people from both sides of the aisle and starting a conversation around your product, Pepsi hit it out of the park. And that’s the point of an advertisement, sort of.

The backlash began when the commercial launched Monday, Pepsi stood behind their ad on Tuesday, but today they finally pulled the plug because the internet legit could not handle it.

“Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark and apologize,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday. “We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are pulling the content and halting any further rollout.”

Pepsi really shot their shot with this one. I understand there have been many deaths and disruptions preceding said protests and it should not be commercialized, but at the end of the day it’s just a god damn topical advertisement to get you to buy their drinks, not a legitimate statement for change or trivialization. And it’s ironic that people are so up in arms about this ad because you know what is responsible for killing far more people than police officers do? Soda.


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