Pepsi just dropped a new ad starring Kendall Jenner. Although she is my favorite member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, the ad is TERRIBLE.
Allow me to break it down scene by scene for you.
In the beginning, there’s a man playing a cello on top of a roof, for reasons that aren’t made clear.
Followed by a vaguely purposed protest.
A girl in a hijab who is a photographer.
Aaaaaand Kendall Jenner in a blonde wig posing for a photoshoot.
Cello dude and hijab girl then join the protest, which we still don’t know the purpose of, and eventually coax Jenner into joining them as they pass by her on the street.
She dramatically rips off her wig and joins the protest. We are still kept in the dark about the purpose of the demonstration.
She then grabs a can of Pepsi and hands it to one of the cops, who are all standing in a line facing the protestors in a menacing way.
The officer takes the soda and drinks it, then shrugs to one of his police officer friends like: “What’s a guy to do?”
Then everyone cheers.
Then we see Kendall walking away with her new friends.
“Live bolder, live louder, live for now,” the ad concludes.
Questions abound: What are these people protesting? Why are the cops there? Are they going to arrest everyone? Are they there to protect them? What convinced Jenner to join the protest? Also, what were the cops planning to do before they were offered a can of soda?
The annoying part about this ad is that Pepsi knows they don’t need to answer any of these questions, because the point of vague protests filled with demonstrators wearing hijabs and ripped jeans is already clear to all. Millennials have Selma envy, and yucky soda companies know it. They threw in a Kardashian for good measure.
What makes it all perhaps a little bit worse is that Pepsi didn’t use some out-of-touch Madison Ave. company to come up with this lame quasi-version of “I’d like to buy the world a Coke.” They did it themselves. Pepsi is going all in and embracing these vague, social justice-y values in an effort to be cool. It’s sad.
I miss the good old days, when Pepsi was transparent about their brand’s values and had Britney Spears star in their commercials.
Ah, some honesty. How refreshing!