The Power of Ads and Pepsi

Farah Ali-Ahmad

Staff Writer


The recent two minute “tone-deaf” Pepsi ad created a fuss all over the Internet. For the first time, the Internet was united and opinions converged.

The “Live For Now Moments Anthem” ad starring model and reality TV star Kendall Jenner is disgraceful in more than one way.

In the ad, Kendall Jenner, in the midst of a photo shoot, is taken by a multiracial protest. She leaves her modelling business behind, taking off her wig and wiping off her lipstick to join the protest.

When she finally joins the crowd, she heads towards a police officer and offers him a Pepsi to “cool things down.” He then smiles at her and the whole crowd cheers her on.

This ad discredits all efforts that are usually put into protests. It reduces every single one to a very simple act that could have been more effective only had a can of Pepsi been involved.

The ad more specifically made echo to female protester Ieshia Evans who went up to a policeman in Louisiana during a Black Lives Matter protest.

However, unlike Jenner in the ad, Evans was then arrested.  

Another misconception and misrepresentation that was very striking was the way everyone appeared to be happy, smiling and overall cheery. There was even a group of people that were randomly dancing. It seems that this ad was produced by people who have never been in or seen a protest in their lives.

Ironically, the ad intended to “project a global message of unity,” according to Pepsi. The only union achieved was the union in backlash. The video reached 1.6 million views after only 48 hours of its release. Many people went on social media to express their opinions and sentiments about the ad in a satirical way:

“If only daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi,” tweeted Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, insinuating that all of Martin Luther King’s doings suddenly seem meaningless compared to the can of Pepsi.

If I had carried Pepsi I guess I never would’ve gotten arrested. Who knew?” said DeRay Mckesson, activist and member of The Black Lives Matter movement while protesting.

Twitter account “@MissngLnk” tweeted: “@KrisJenner @KendallJenner @pepsi that’s it, Kendall just fixed all social injustices. Bless.”

Some even suggested that Pepsi used the controversy to their advantage.

After all the criticism it received, Pepsi pulled the controversial ad, apologized and issued a statement claiming that they “did not intend to make light of any serious issue.”

But, on social media, things that were once in the open stay in the open and take a while to be forgotten.

At the end of the day, no matter what the intentions of Pepsi were, the ad was not efficient in terms of advertising. It didn’t make anyone want Pepsi.

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