Pepsi has long considered themselves to be the voice of the younger generation, but with their latest commercial it seems like they’ve lost track of what the younger generation is actually saying. They released a new ad yesterday starring Kendall Jenner, and it’s being ripped to shreds by the people they are trying to talk for.
In the commercial set to Skip Marley’s song Lions, Jenner can be seen posing for a photo shoot, while a group of young protesters walk by. The group is joined by a cello-playing musician who decides to take a break and drink a Pepsi, a headscarf wearing photographer who decides the pictures she’s taking aren’t good enough and wants to shoot what’s going on outside her door, and finally Jenner herself who removes her blonde wig and wipes off her lipstick.
What exactly the group is protesting is unclear, although they are holding signs that say “Join the Conversation”, and the police are there watching. In what is supposed to be an act of peace between the protesters and the police, Jenner approaches one of the offices and gives him a can of Pepsi. The marchers cheer her on, and the officer smiles at the gesture. Then the screen displays the message“Live bolder, live louder, live for now,” before ending.
Response to the ad has been swift and merciless, with critics calling the it a “tone-deaf attempt to co-opt a movement of political resistance.” People seem to be most upset with the fact that Pepsi looks like they are disrespecting actual real life protests. Pictures have started to circulate of a can of Pepsi taking a stand in Baton Rouge, or stopping the tank in Tiananmen Square. Some are even calling it an attempt to get the younger people of America to protest against the current government. Whatever Pepsi was trying they did accomplish one thing, people are talking about them.