Resolves Racism AND Tastes Great!

Image result for kendall jenner pepsi

Unless you’ve been sleeping…in the library…without a smart phone (none of which is remotely likely), you’ve probably heard about the failed Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner.

Moving from “fake” (modelling in a blond wig) to “meaningful” (joining in a protest), Jenner’s transformation–her own, the crowd’s and, most importantly, law enforcement’s–is enabled by the magic of Pepsi.

Confused? So were the in-house creative team that conceived of this campaign.

Industry executive Benjamin Blank, quoted in an article in Advertising Week, explains:

“I understand what they were trying to do: They had data that probably said 75% of millennials consider themselves activists, or whatever that data piece was, so we are going to embrace the idea of activism,”  [But Pepsi misfired by taking a] “very broad-stroke approach as opposed to standing for something. It’s like standing for love or happiness, that’s not really a stance.”

If Kendall Jenner actually did something that was meaningful and they documented that and supported that, that would probably be something that would make more sense for the brand as opposed to paying her whatever they paid her to appear in a scripted piece of content that was not based in any true meaning.”

Adding insult to injury, Martin Luther King’s daughter noted that the ad was released on the 49th anniversary of her father’s assassination.

Image result for mlk daughter tweet on pepsi


The result? The ad was pulled, Pepsi was mocked, and everyone’s talking about it. What’s your assessment: Win? Fail?

One thought on “Resolves Racism AND Tastes Great!

  1. Nicole Panos

    I most definitely think this ad campaign failed. I am all in support of making powerful advertisements that try to express real world issues, but this was just insulting. I realize that they used Kendall Jenner because of her popularity and fame, but they used a girl who is extremely privileged and wealthy and someone who doesn’t experience any of the issues they were trying to portray in the ad. It was not only was offensive, but also a ridiculous message that a Pepsi is the solution to police brutality and racism is the world and that a drink would bring people together. Pepsi definitely screwed up releasing and ad like this especially with the current situations happening in the world.


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