UPDATE, Wednesday, 12 pm
As a result of the enormous backlash, Pepsi has pulled this ad offline and issued a public apology. They address the scores of people they have offended, and star of the shit show, Kendall Jenner.
Pepsi admitted that in an attempt to portray "a global message of unity, peace and understanding," they really fucked up. "Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize," their statement reads. "We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout."
They also apologize for putting Jenner in this situation.
Although Pepsi is definitely embarrassed, the ad has had no negative effects on the company's stock so far. Let's crack open a Pepsi to celebrate.
In a surprising turn of events, Pepsi, with the help of Kendall Jenner, has completely eliminated police brutality! Just kidding, obviously.
In a new ad for Pepsi Max, Jenner can be seen doing a glamorous photoshoot not 20 feet away from a large group of Gen Y-ers protesting an unnamed issue. Their Pepsi-blue placards bear peace signs, hearts, and the always-trite infinity symbol.
The video begins with a beanie-and-gauges-wearing young Asian man playing the cello (his energy and passion courtesy of Pepsi Max). Moments later, he is distracted by a gaggle of conventionally attractive white people and laughably few POCs marching through the streets. He packs up his instrument and joins the “protest."
I can’t handle summarizing the rest, so just watch it.
The lowlight of the ad is when Jenner pulls off her blonde wig, becomes “woke,” and joins the bullshit affair. She fist bumps a dude, makes eyes at the cello player, and strolls to the front lines. Jenner then hands a can of Pepsi to a cop, eliciting ecstatic cheers and applause from the protesters, but groans and laughs from rational folks watching this mess.
These types of interactions at ACTUAL protests have looked strikingly different, lately. For comparison, here's a scene from a Presidents' Day protest of Donald Trump.
The casting of Kendall Jenner, supermodel and member of the Kardashian klan, is insane. The family has remained noticeably silent on pretty much every major social issue (that is, until the issue affects them, or there is financial compensation involved).
Of course, Pepsi's far from alone. Co-opting protest for profit isn’t new. In 1929 during the first wave of feminism, tobacco companies jumped onto the women’s rights bandwagon. That’s because if they could erase the taboo surrounding women smoking, they could potentially double their profits. Lucky Strike ran a campaign directed at women that literally dubbed cigarettes “torches of freedom.”
The new Pepsi ad uses this exact same type of marketing. By creating (or attempting to create) the association between Pepsi and activism, the company can appear woke, while doing absolutely nothing to help solve the issues it is capitalizing on. It won't work, of course. Please god don't let it work.
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