This is Not Creative – Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi Protest Commercial

 In Make or Break, Marketing

Poppin’ the top of a soda can got a whole lot more heated yesterday with Pepsi pulling the new, exceptionally hated ad featuring Kendall Jenner and Skip Marley. (Reminder: it’s not just her in the ad).

I first saw the Kendall Jenner Pepsi Protest two days ago at a mere 672,860 views on this unofficial YouTube account (it has since exploded to over 3.6 million views just there alone). To say that it left my eyebrow raised is an understatement. As friends started to share it on social, it became abundantly clear that I was not the only one mystified by this ad. A few thoughts immediately came to mind:

  • What a beautiful protest. Everyone is so clean and happy – no sweat, lots of street style and a perfectly planted sample of ethnic minorities.
  • Leading the protest and confrontation is a white, wealthy symbol of hardship – the hardship of flying private, modeling for major fashion companies, and willingly appearing on television shows with your exhibitionist family.
  • Look at that handsome police officer, he loves the protest! Hmm…this looks familiar…
  • Kendall sure hates her job…as she runs away from the door frame. Watch her transform by shedding a wig and lipstick and grabbing a Pepsi. It must be such a hard, oppressive job that doesn’t pay well… Wait, what?

While the memes and takedowns flourish online, I’ve put together a list of some articles that I enjoyed if you want to dig in to the lunacy that was this creative direction. Honestly, I can’t imagine how the concept made it through so many rounds of approvals, into production, and out into the world without cross-checking…you know, the news. The concept of a protest is so far from bubbly soda pop joy that it just freaks me out.

Maybe the intern did it?


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