Much has been made about the Pepsi commercial featuring celebutante Kendall Jenner. In case you haven’t heard: it was an embarrassing PR fail for the soft drink maker.
In the ad, Jenner is seen ripping off her wig while joining protesters/demonstrators and ultimately handing a police officer a can of Pepsi. The point of it? Well, the public really couldn’t figure that out.
You see, the folks rallying in the streets (all well-dressed attractive people, I should note) don’t seem to have an actual cause. The lineup of hot police officers who look fresh off a modeling shoot, are purportedly from San Francisco even though the commercial was taped in Thailand, according to reports. Fun fact: Local reports say the San Fran police department is pissed and seeking legal advice for what appears to be a knockoff of its crest on the police actors’ uniforms.
Worst of all the messaging is that Jenner brings world peace with a can of Pepsi.
Viewers were outraged and said the ad trivializes actual protests like Black Lives Matter and the unrest it has brought throughout the U.S.
Casting of the commercial also raised eyebrows. A well-to-do celebrity like Jenner who comes from the privileged family of Kardashians wasn’t going to be taken seriously by the average person. Pair that with someone like a Kardashian or Jenner taking a stand on social issues when they don’t usually run with the common folk makes the scenario even more laughable (or maddening, depending on who you ask).
So how was this such a major miss? Coke has done whimsical advertisements for years. How did Pepsi bomb so badly?
Normally big corporations outsource this type of creative project to PR or ad agencies but it’s been reported that the Pepsi marketing team came up with the concept and did it all independently.
While this whole thing painted Pepsi in a horrible light and made it a conversation point for more than a week it, well, made Pepsi a conversation point for more than a week.
Will people stop drinking Pepsi because of the offensive ad? Probably not.
If I understand correctly, Pepsi has the power to do good and change the world. Hey, someone hand Trump a Pepsi!