By now, you’ve seen the ad. You know the one I’m talking about–the one starring Kendall Jenner, for Pepsi, in which she ends racism by giving a cop at a protest by giving him a soda. (A Pepsi, obviously.) I don’t know.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) April 5, 2017
This ad is perplexing for, um, a lot of reasons. I don’t want to be all, like, *watches the critically-acclaimed Jon Hamm vehicle Mad Men once* or anything, but from an advertising perspective, this Pepsi one is…not good. It’s too long, the editing is choppy, its premise is ridiculous at best, and it serves as a reminder that Kendall Jenner is a mediocre model and an even worse actor.
But, of course, that’s beside the point. The main issue is that Pepsi is attempting to capitalize upon important political movements like Black Lives Matter and the Women’s March by mimicking what one of those protests might look like. Only the cause, if there was even one there to begin with, has vanished–instead, there’s an ethnically diverse, conventionally gorgeous cast of “protesters” carrying vague, Pepsi-colored signs (one of which reads “join the conversation,” which no one I know would ever be caught dead showing up top a protest with) and breakdancing.
A spokesperson for Pepsi released a statement to Teen Vogue in which they make it clear that they stand by the ad, saying, “The creative showcases a moment of unity, and a point where multiple storylines converge in the final advert. It depicts various groups of people embracing a spontaneous moment, and showcasing Pepsi’s brand rallying cry to ‘Live For Now,’ in an exploration of what that truly means to live life unbounded, unfiltered and uninhibited.”
I mean, sure. But it’s impossible to deny that the ad still exists to (try to) sell Pepsi by using the tactics protesters use to stand up for marginalized people without doing the work to actually stand up for marginalized people themselves.
Now, I feel it is important to note that the person who spearheaded this campaign literally bears the name “Brad Jakeman“–a name so bland that it sounds like something an alien might make up if they wanted to join a ritzy country club and had to assume a false identity –so, clearly, the whole thing was doomed from the start. As a rule of thumb, no white man with two first names should ever be allowed to see any sort of protest, lest he mine its depths for his own misguided capitalistic gain.
But see a protest Mr. Jakeman did, and, thus, we all have to deal with the mess it created. And what a mess it is! Pepsi has since pulled the ad, but if you think about it, the brand pulled off a truly remarkable feat with it. Adweek called the “most reviled ad in recent memory.” Conservative people are mad about it. Liberal people are mad about it.We’re all mad about it! And, while anger might not be the most constructive of emotions, it sure does lead to some good internet content. So, check out these perfect reactions to the the Kendall Jenner x Pepsi ad right here:
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) April 5, 2017
When the cops come and you only got Coca-Cola in the fridge pic.twitter.com/GWWO67bkMm
— Ira Madison III (@ira) April 4, 2017
3. It is hard to think of things to say other than “welp,” actually!
I AM SCREAMING pic.twitter.com/3aWFdvmz5j
— reggie (@1942bs) April 4, 2017
this is the only pepsi ad i know. pic.twitter.com/rgZpDLvSGW
— sara st.claire (@thisbemesara) April 5, 2017
"Oh nevermind. He ordered a Pepsi." pic.twitter.com/hujesuLrEA
— Eric Spring (@ericleespring) April 5, 2017
6. This PHYSICALLY HURTS:
"Hold my wig, Keisha. I've got some liberating to do!"
"Um, it's Jennifer." pic.twitter.com/pgcqsGAQGu
— Tax-free Hands. (@thewayoftheid) April 4, 2017
7. But also, um find the lie:
— Pillsbury Doughbroad (@EdgarAlanFro) April 5, 2017
The Pepsi marketing team pic.twitter.com/JWOAn6B5MF
— Queen Mikayla (@mikaylainblack) April 5, 2017
Waitress: We have Pepsi products. What would you like to drink?
— J (@lionizejay) April 5, 2017
10. Give KENDALL the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE:
I 😍that Kendall ended police👮🏻🐷🇺🇸brutality😤⚰️💀she invited to the cookout y'all!😩✊🏾She responsible for the drinks tho😏💓I'm thinkin Pepsi!😋 pic.twitter.com/YbDgc70wCt
— Ashley Reese (@offbeatorbit) April 4, 2017
11. Pretty much!
So we should just give Putin & Assad & Trump a can of Pepsi & everything will be fine?
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) April 4, 2017
You should have seen the rejected Pepsi commercial. pic.twitter.com/1NR23KCuwk
— Wallace Wylie (@WallaceWylie) April 4, 2017
13. A pun!
Nevertheless, she Pepsisted. pic.twitter.com/53e6rxLS50
— Mдтт Иegяiи (@MattNegrin) April 4, 2017
14. I’m back to “welp” again:
when you get a free pepsi but remember you still get to use the tear gas for no reason anyway pic.twitter.com/WQjNQYBTjp
— CONWAY TWEETY (@edsbs) April 5, 2017
15. I just…
if only she'd given them a pepsi pic.twitter.com/rVM8jkJrG4
— darkwing duck fan (@vmochama) April 4, 2017
16. The only call you need to make:
"Yo Kendall, im gonna need you to come through with a pepsi, these cops are wildin" pic.twitter.com/dOpKnTq8LU
— Kim Jong Tun (@ignant_) April 5, 2017
"Hold on hold on, she's coming over with the Pepsi and you'll see that this is just one big misunderstanding" pic.twitter.com/NHe29hyrWw
— Agony Wofa (@ProfessorKumi) April 5, 2017
What do you think about the ad? Which one of these reactions is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!