With its recently released advertisement featuring American fashion model and television personality Kendall Jenner, Pepsi got into fresh controversies with massive response in social media.
With its recently released advertisement featuring American fashion model and television personality Kendall Jenner, Pepsi got into fresh controversies with massive response in social media. While with its new two and a half minute ad Pepsi tried to convey a message of unity through its products, several criticised the soda-makers for dismissing the seriousness of sensitive issues like divisiveness, racism and protests. Titled ‘Live For Now Moments Anthem’, the Pepsi ad depicts protest across the streets and a supermodel leaving a photo shoot to join the protestors. More interestingly, at the end of the video, the model, Kendall Jenner hands over a can of Pepsi to a police official while other protesters erupt with cheers.
As reported by Adweek, Amobee Brand Intelligence data shows that the digital content engagement of Pepsi steeply increased to 366 per cent in just one day. While most posts related to the Pepsi ad were tagged ‘Black Lives Matter’, ‘tone-deaf’ and ‘worst ever’, a huge number of searches mentioned Kendall Jenner and Pepsi.
However, pulling its ad after heated controversies, Pepsi has justified its move by sharing, “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize. We did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.
According to an Adweek report, brand consultant Allen Adamson, also the founder of Brand Simple Consulting criticised the Pepsi ad and stated that its a degrading the seriousness of major issues by trying to show that just a glass of soda can solve serious problems on the streets. Many have even raised questions on the casting of Jenner in the ad, by which the brand tried to portray a rich, white model as the public hero, also portraying the protest as a social outing.
And as several others continue to hit out at the soda makers for being insensitive about serious issues, many have also driven a comparison of the ad with Coca-Cola’s 1971 ‘Hilltop’ ad. However, the Coke ad has been justified to a huge extent with people still considering it as a simple sentiment. While Pepsi’s ad is dubbed as a false declaration the Coke ad is considered as hopeful message.